SIR LAWRENCE ALMA-TADEMA, O.M., R.A,
From the Aptograph Portrait in hie
Uffizi Gallery, Florence
PERCY CROSS STANDING
u Art must be beautiful because Art must elevate, not teach; when
Art teaches in the common sense of the word, it becomes accessory to
some other object. In elevating, it only teaches because it ennobles
the mind." — Alma-Tadema.
CASSELL and COMPANY, Limited
LONDON, PARIS, NEW YORK 6» MELBOURNE. MCMV
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
UNIFORM WITH THIS WORK.
(Mrs. Ernest Normand).
By ARTHUR FISH.
With Eight Illustrations in Colour and
Thirty-two in Black and White.
CASSELL & COMPANY, Limited, London,
Paris, New York and Melbourne.
)H£ J. PA UL GETTY CENTF*
Boyhood and Youth ...... 9
Early Successes : The Gambart Contract . . 20
First Visit to Italy and Friendship with Ebers 30
His Home in England -35
Pictures of the late 'Sixties and the
"The Death of the First-Born"; "The Seasons"
and "Sappho" 62
His Collected Works in London : Pictures of the
Some of his Critics . . . . . . .82
His Work for the Theatre 91
Pictures of the 'Nineties 98
The Knighthood and its Celebration . . . 104
"The Finding of Moses"; Portraits and Water
An Appreciation 117
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, O.M., R.A. . Frontispiece
Education of the Children of Clovis . To face page 20
Fredegonda at the Death-bed of Pr^-
textatus „ 26
The Vintage Festival „ 28
The Proposal „ 30
Rose of all the Roses „ 34
In Confidence „ 36
Dolce far Niente „ 38
The Four Seasons „ 40
In the Time of Constantine .... „ 44
A Lover of Art (Colour) .... ,, 46
A Roman Emperor „ 48
The Juggler „ 50
Joseph, Overseer of Pharaoh's Granaries „ 52
The Sculpture Gallery .... „ 54
The Picture Gallery ,, 56
"There He Is " „ 58
" God-Speed " „ 60
Death of the First-born .... „ 62
The Parting Kiss „ 66
vi LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
In the Rose Garden To face page 68
An Oleander „ 70
The Torch Dance „ 72
The Frigidarium „ 74
Hadrian Visiting a Pottery in Britain . „ 76
Miss Anna Alma-Tadema „ 78
The Shrine of Venus ,, 80
The Pyrrhic Dance (Colour) .... „ 84
"He Loves Me: He Loves Me Not" „ 88
Wandering Longings M 92
Whispering Noon „ 94
The Kiss „ 96
Comparisons „ 98
A Dedication to Bacchus .... „ 100
A Silent Greeting (Colour) .... „ 102
"The Year's at the Spring". ... „ 104
Autumn „ 106
The Finding of Moses . . . . . „ no
Sir Ernest A. Waterlow, R.A., P.R.W.S. . „ 114
Lady Alma-Tadema and Her Family . . „ 116
Pleading (Colour) „ 120
PRINCIPAL HONOURS CONFERRED
ON SIR L. ALMA-TADEMA.
1862. Gold Medal at Amsterdam.
1864. Gold Medal of the Salon, Paris.
1866. Knighthood of the Order of King Leopold of Belgium.
1867. Second Class Medal at the Paris Exposition.
1868. Knighthood of the Lion of the Netherlands.
1869. Knighthood of the Second Class of St. Michael.
1870. Elected Member of the Royal Academy of Munich.
1873. Knighthood of the Order of the Legion of Honour, France.
1874. Elected Member of the Royal Academy, Berlin ; Large
1876. Elected Associate of the Royal Academy, London ; Medal
of the Philadelphia International Exhibition.
1877. Medal of the Royal Scottish Academy.
1878. Gold Medal of the Paris Exposition.
1879. Elected a Royal Academician, London.
1880. Gold Medal of the Melbourne International Exhibition.
1881. The Prussian Order of Merit.
1889. Gold Medal of the Paris Universal Exposition.
1893. Gold Medal of the Chicago International Exhibition.
1893. Gold Medal of the Academy of St. Luke, Rome.
1894. Gold Medal, Vienna.
1898. Great Gold Medal of the Brussels Exhibition.
1899. Knighted by Her Majesty Queen Victoria.
1905. Order of Merit conferred by H.M. King Edward VII.
All the colour and half-tone blocks in this volume have
been produced by Messrs. Andre & Sleigh, Limited.
ALMA-TADEMA, O.M., R.A.
BOYHOOD AND YOUTH.
BORN at the little village of Dronryp — be-
tween Harlingen, opposite Texel Island,
and Leeuwarden — in the Frisian province of
Holland, on January 8th, 1836, it cannot with
truth be averred that Lourens (Lawrence)
Alma-Tadema was entirely cradled in the lap
of luxury. That is to say, his father belonged
to that large and honourable class of prac-
titioners, the notaries, and enjoyed a fairly
prosperous practice ; but when Lourens had
barely attained the age of four years his male
parent died, and the widow was left, in ex-
ceedingly straitened circumstances, with five
children to provide for — viz., Lourens and his
little sister, and three boys the offspring of a
former marriage. Of the future artist's father,
all that we know with certainty is that he was
a musical enthusiast, and a man of real artistic
merit and accomplishment.
The mother Tadema was, it may be
imagined, faced by a problem of no ordinary
difficulty ; but, being a woman of undaunted
courage and resource, she set to work with a
brave heart. It may be said at once that
she was completely successful in her unequal
fight with the battle of life, and all her children
turned out well. From earliest childhood — ■
one might almost say from babyhood — Lourens
was possessed by the idea that he would be
an artist. There is, in fact, one of the usual
" fabling stories " to which all genius is sub-
jected, to the effect that he corrected a mis-
take in a drawing master's design before he
had attained his fifth year ! And certain it is
that he could " draw " before he had wholly
lost the lisp of babyhood.
The immediate vicinity of Leeuwarden is
singularly picturesque in a country generally
noted for its flatness, while the ancient church
of Dronryp stood perched upon one of the
hillocks that were wont to be erected by the
sturdy Frieslanders in order to escape the
floods. Moreover, Alma-Tadema recalls that
in the days of his childhood the women of the
countryside still affected the old-fashioned but
beautiful costume peculiar to their nationality
— the quaintly brilliant gowns of many hues,
the towering caps, and the veils that imparted
so characteristically stately an accompaniment
to the whole. It used to be the lad's delight
to make childish sketches of these his country-
women, or, indeed, of anything that attracted
BOYHOOD AND YOUTH. n
his attention in a way to inspire his already
nimble pencil. From the first he was a loving
and lovable boy, inspiring the affection of all
around him. Among his schoolfellows was
Bisschop, likewise destined to fame as a painter.
In the beautiful country surrounding his
birthplace, says his friend Ebers, he " received
the first impressions of childhood ; here, per-
haps, the bright colours and brilliant light,
afterwards so exquisitely portrayed by his art,
were stamped upon his soul. In this region,
too, the only antiquities found in Holland
(coins and ornaments of the Merovingian period)
were discovered, and seeming trifles often gave
the artist's soul the impulse to the grandest
achievements. Was he, afterwards the artist
of the Merovingian dynasty, directed towards
that great and bloody epoch of French history
by some of these things, a word heard or pic-
ture seen when a child ? His father died
young, but his noble mother understood how
to train the vivacious boy with tenderness and
discretion. Like many sons whose education
is directed by a widowed mother, his mind
and imagination developed with special har-
mony and vigour."
Yet, to the boy's utter dismay and chagrin,
it was decreed that he should follow the pro-
fession of his father — the law. In the Friesland
of that day the art of the painter was generally
regarded as that of the actor was for many
generations looked upon in this country —
certainly not as a calling to be adopted by the
respectable, or by such as desired some day to
take a place of honour and esteem among the
good citizens of their native land. The fact
remains that the dreamy and enthusiastic lad
was nearly condemned to pass the term of
his natural life amid the dry-as-dust surround-
ings of a lawyer's office. Sent to a Greek
and Latin preparatory school, he determined,
even now, to snatch every moment that he
could to devote to the art he already passion-
ately loved, so he would rise before daylight
and paint until he had to go to the office.
In order to effect this, Lourens attached a
string to his big toe when he went to bed
at night. This string communicated with his
mother's bedroom, and at five o'clock in the
morning his mother would jerk the string to
awaken Lourens, who would then rise and
begin the work that he loved before proceed-
ing to start the work that he loathed. A
pretty story, and, moreover, a true one.
" I did not entirely dislike the study of
the ancient languages," he told me once, " for
they have influenced my art all through my
life." But he chafed at the thought of any
career save the art that he longed for.
It was during this period that he exhibited,
in a Dutch gallery in 185 1, when he was aged
fifteen, a portrait of his sister. No doubt the
work was immature, but it is said to have
been full of the promise of fulfilment.
BOYHOOD AND YOUTH. 13
But suddenly Fate, " the business-manager
of Providence/' intervened in behalf of poor
Lourens. His health collapsed, and broke down
utterly under the strain imposed by having to
follow one path of duty while yearning for the
other of inclination. It was not at first recog-
nised that this collapse was directly induced
by the mental strain. In fact, it was gravely
argued that the youth had not long to live
in any case, and so, to his unspeakable joy,
it was decreed that he might rest from his
legal labours. From that moment his health
commenced to improve.
It may here be mentioned, as there has
been a good deal of misconception on the
point, that Tadema was christened " Lourens
Alma-Tadema," and did not subsequently add
the prefix " Alma M to the surname. Indeed,
he himself once told the writer that at the
tender age of six he began to sign his draw-
ings " L. Alma-Tadema." His godfather was
Lourens Alma, a brother-in-law of his mother.
It may be imagined with what unfeigned
joy and delight the youth now turned to
pursue his art career, untrammelled and un-
troubled by the vexations hitherto imposed
upon his sensitive heart and brain. He had
conquered — had conquered by means of what
was for him, under Providence, a most merciful
accident ; and it was now for him to show
of what stuff he was made, and how he pro-
posed to shape and make his life's work. It
was still no path of roses that he trod. In
the light of after happenings, it seems a severe
reflection upon the artistic discernment of his
native homeland that the artist failed to obtain
a start in the academies of Holland. It is,
none the less, a fact. Hence it was that he
took up his residence at Antwerp in 1852, and
there commenced to work in the Academy
with all the enthusiasm, high purpose, and rigid
self-criticism that have characterised his aims
from end to end of his art career. So much
high purpose and self-criticism, in fact, that
he destroyed canvas after canvas of his own
that did not quite please him or attain his ideal
of what should be. " Tadema did not merely
work at Antwerp,' ' wrote a friend. " He slaved
in his efforts to make up for all the precious
time he had lost." It is of interest to note
that at Antwerp many years afterwards was
produced a play from the pen of the artist's
eldest daughter, Miss Laurence Alma-Tadema.
Antwerp and its associations had, not un-
naturally, an almost instantaneous effect upon
the young Tadema' s output. The celebrated
Wappers* was the acknowledged head of one
— the romantique school — of the two great
schools or camps into which the Flemish art
of that day was divided, whilst the principles
of Louis David dominated the other. Alma-
Tadema became in some sense a disciple of
* Wappers' most famous work is his " Episode de la
K evolution Beige."
BOYHOOD AND YOUTH. 15
Wappers, because this master's particular
school — the Belgic-Flemish — cherished as its
avowed object the revival of all that was best
and grandest in the work of the old Dutch
and Belgian masters. Wappers left Antwerp
some six months after Tadema's arrival there,
but Lourens had also the benefit of the tuition
of De Keyser, who had always represented the
same tendencies as his predecessor.
These hard-working days in the great store-
house of Flemish art were among the happiest,
as well as the most momentous, of Alma-
Tadema's career. The happiest, because he
had the supreme satisfaction of being joined
at Antwerp in 1859 ^Y n ^ s mother and sister,
to whom he was tenderly attached ; the most
momentous, because here he stood, in the
heart of the art-world, with his foot on the
first rung of the ladder of fame at this the
very outset of his real education. The first
large picture that he attempted in the Belgian
art school was " The Destruction of Terdoest
Abbey," with which he was so dissatisfied
that he gave it to his mother to use as an
oilcloth for the dining-table of her large family !
In 1858, after some months of the Academy,
the student became a pupil of the famous
Baron Leys, whose influence controlled him
for a considerable period. In addition to
working on several pictures of this master
(especially his " Golden Fleece," which
was his principal exhibit at the London
Universal Exhibition of 1862), he was privi-
leged to assist Leys in his great fresco-work
for the Town Hall of Antwerp. It was, in-
deed, a great stroke of good fortune for the
young man that Leys should have been
engaged to carry out this particular piece of
work at a time when Alma-Tadema was work-
ing in his studio. In addition to the master's
own immense store of historical and archaeologi-
cal knowledge, Alma-Tadema also derived much
valuable information and historical detail from
Louis de Taye, the professor of archaeology
at the Academy of Antwerp. The subjects
selected by Baron Leys for his six frescoes in
the Town Hall were in every case chosen from
the glowing annals of the history of the great
Flemish city. In this way again, therefore,
did Alma-Tadema acquire much of the know-
ledge necessary to the making of good pictures.
Leys appears to have been a kindly, if at
times severe, critic of his pupil's work. It was
under his guidance that Alma-Tadema began
to put forth that skill in the painting of marble
which he has since brought to such a pitch
of excellence. Whilst occupied on the picture
of " Luther," now in the possession of Sir
Cuthbert Quilter, he asked Alma-Tadema
to insert in the picture a Gothic table. When
his wish was complied with, he remarked, " It
is not my idea of a table. I want one that
everybody knocks his knees to pieces on."
Hence the table now in the picture, which he
BOYHOOD AND YOUTH. 17
approved of ultimately. And when in 1861
he came to Alma-Tadema's study to view " The
Education of the Children of Go vis/' he re-
marked, " That marble is cheese, and those
children are not studied from nature ! "
Although the loved and honoured pupil of
Leys, Alma-Tadema never permitted his own in-
dividuality to be merged in that of his mentor.
On this point he himself has said, ^ If I have
obtained any degree of success, it is because I
have always been faithful to my own ideas,
followed the inspirations of my own brain,
and imitated no other artist. Whoever wishes
to accomplish anything in any career in life
must first be faithful to his own nature."
In later life, Alma-Tadema has loved to specu-
late upon the fruitful theme of the possibility or
impracticability of a subject for a picture in
its relation to the exact sentiment to be con-
veyed ; and this especially in its effect upon
the purely literary tone of so much of the art-
criticism of the day. " I remember," he once
said, " that a great professor of history at the
University of Ghent repeatedly recommended
me to paint that striking incident in history
where William the Silent, when leaving the
Netherlands to organise that great struggle
with Spain, in answ r er to the parting words
of Counts Egmont and Horn (' Good-bye,
noble Prince without a country '), said, l Good-
bye, noble men without heads/ Of course,
the feeling of such a scene cannot be given
in a picture. What subject is there in the
Venus of Milo that can be written down ?
Yet nobody will deny that it is one of the
greatest works of art. What subject is there
in Raphael's Sistine Madonna ? It is in the
ecstasy of the Madonna, the beautiful serenity
of the Venus, that lies the charm."
It is not strange that Alma-Tadema holds
the memory of Leys in veneration. The
Flemish master was not " Baron " Leys at the
moment when Alma-Tadema first came under
his influence, but received this richly merited
honour from Leopold I. in 1867, after his great
success in the Universal Exhibition of Paris.
He did more than anyone else to foster in his
pupils that devotion to the depicting of native
subjects which dominated Alma-Tadema' s earlier
period as a painter. The best of Baron Leys'
pictures are unquestionably for all time. I
would especially particularise his well-known
" Erasmus in his Study," " Rembrandt's
Studio," " Rubens Feasted by the Gunsmiths
of Antwerp," and " The Institution of the
Golden Fleece." Leys died in 1869, the last
few years of his life having been occupied in
the decoration of x\ntwerp Town Hall, just re-
ferred to, with Alma-Tadema and Napier Hemy,
A.R.A., for his scholars, assistants, and friends.
It is a pathetic circumstance that his task
in connection with the frescoes was not com-
pleted at the time of his decease.
Alma-Tadema never accepted any pecu-
BOYHOOD AND YOUTH. 19
niary recognition from Leys in connection
with his work on the Baron's pictures. He
realised that he owed, and would always owe,
a great deal to the master's tuition. At the
same time, the influence of Leys with him was
not of long duration ; Alma-Tadema's own
individuality was too powerful to allow of his
being anyone but " himself " for very long.
It would be difficult indeed to exaggerate the
importance to him of his connection with
Antwerp, the proud city that had produced a
Rubens, a Vandyck, a Matsys, a Teniers, a
Van Bree, a Jordaens, and a Leys.
EARLY SUCCESSES : THE GAMBART CONTRACT.
FROM the time of his all too brief acquaint-
ance with Leys, events moved swiftly
with Alma-Tadema. After his mother arrived to
make her home with him he appears to have
laboured with even renewed energy. He was at
this moment gradually more and more strongly
attracted towards the Frankish or Merovingian
period of history, to the more intimate study of
which he gave a large proportion of his life's
work. This is a study replete with fascinated
interest, and in Alma-Tadema's case it speedily
brought forth fruit. To a certain, or uncertain,
extent he may have been influenced by a read-
ing of Augustin Thierry's " Recit du Temps
Merovingius " and of Gregory of Tours' " His-
tory of the Franks," and in any case he
laboured hard after precise historical and
archaeological accurateness of design and treat-
ment. He also studied all the foremost books
on the period in question. The first result
was a picture, " Clotilde at the Grave of her
Grandchildren." On the statement, made at
haphazard, that this episode was " entirely
without foundation in fact," Alma-Tadema once
remarked to the writer : " That the faithful
EARLY SUCCESSES. 21
Clotilde, having lost all hope of influence by
the murder of her grandchildren, should have
wept at their grave, is but human, and, as
such, certainly historic." This work was
executed before he knew Leys. He painted it
in the studio of Louis de Taye during the
time he helped him to paint his " Bataille de
Poitiers/' and Madame de Taye kindly sat
for the head and arms of Clotilde.
Now came his initial triumph. In 1861,
at the Antwerp Exhibition, the young painter
made a real sensation with a splendid picture
on which he had exhausted an infinity of pains.
This is the canvas, which speedily became
world renowmed, entitled " The School for
Vengeance : the Education of the Children of
Go vis." It is a theme that has been oft
described ; the lay-reader may find a suffi-
ciently lucid interpretation of the subject in
any history of France. It was the first picture
he painted under Leys' instructions. Several
years afterwards this inspiration of Alma-
Tadema's brush attracted a large share of
attention when exhibited, with twelve other
canvases of his, in the Paris Exposition Uni-
verselle of 1867. It represents work that
will inevitably live ; and Alma-Tadema was
glad to sell it to the Antwerp Society for the
Encouragement of Fine Arts for 1,600 francs !
Originally acquired by the King of the
Belgians in the Art Union of the Antwerp
Exhibition, " The Education of the Children of
Clovis " eventually passed into the possession
of Sir John Pender.*
Alma-Tadema immediately followed it up
with other profound studies of the half savage,
half romantic, wholly enthralling epoch of Europe
before the tenth century. This time he went
to the making of the Germanic nations during
the seventh century, and took as his theme
" Venantius, Fortunatus, and Radegonda." It
was immediately acclaimed. He exhibited it
at Amsterdam in 1862, and it triumphantly
carried off the gold medal of that institution.
Furthermore, he was straightway elected a
member of the Academy of Amsterdam. The
picture is now in the museum at Dordrecht.
His venerable mother just survived to
witness this triumph of her dearly loved son.
She passed away a few months afterwards, in
1863, leaving him with a sheaf of bitter-sweet
memories of his struggles for a future, and of
his dear mother's devotion in the most de-
pressing circumstances of genteel poverty. In
September that same year Alma-Tadema was
united in marriage to a French lady of great
attainments and of noble family. Madame
Alma-Tadema was a Gressin de Boisgirard.
Working, meanwhile, upon another canvas
of the Frankish epoch — " Fredegonda at the
Death-bed of Praetextatus " — which was shown
in the Paris Salon in 1865 and at Ghent, and
* Rennefeld's engraving of this picture made the tour
of the world.
EARLY SUCCESSES. 23
was lithographed at the expense of the Society
of Fine Arts of that ancient city (1865), he
removed to Brussels in 1865. It remained his
home until the autumn of 1870, his studio
being established at 51, Rue des Palais.
Why was Alma-Tadema so powerfully at-
tracted towards this period of the Merovingian
dynasty in Western Europe — a period, " as
a whole, monstrous and detestable " ? * The
answer has been given by the artist himself.
" They are a sorry lot, to be sure, these Mero-
vingians," he said to Vosmaer,f " but still
they are picturesque and interesting.' ' Could
one find a fitter rejoinder ?
Of this Fredegonda picture, which he finished
some three years after becoming Leys' pupil
and helper, Ebers finely says, " all Tadema's
great qualities appear, thorough comprehen-
sion of the subject, harmonious composition,
loving choice and elaboration of detail, and a
fidelity in architecture and costume that rejects
everything the connoisseur might exclude."
The " story " of this fine painting refers
to the death of Praetextatus, the Bishop of
Rouen, from wounds inflicted by assassins who
were hired by Fredegonda for the purpose.
The venerable dying prelate is in the act of
denouncing the murderess, who has come to
his bedside, accompanied by the Dukes Beppolen
* G. Ebers.
f Vosmaer was the author of a romance, ** The Amazon,"
in which the artist Aisma is a copy of Alma-Tadema.
and Ausolwald, pretending to be angered at
what has taken place. Says the bishop, " Who
has done this thing ? The same who has killed
our kings, who has so often spilt innocent
blood, and has been guilty of so many crimes
in this kingdom/ ' " I have many skilled
physicians/' answers the guilty woman ; "let
me send them to thee." " Me," rejoins the
venerable victim, " God would now call away
from this world, but thou who hast caused
all these sins wilt be cursed to all eternity,
and God will avenge my blood upon thine
head " (Gregory of Tours). This subject was
informed by an enormous and gratifying
advance in the artist's mastery of technique
and of detail.
The story of Alma-Tadema's meeting with
" Prince " Gambart, the picture-dealer whose
smile or frown meant so much to the young
artists of the time, reads almost like a romance.
Gambart was in very truth the Napoleon of the
Continental art world. To secure his favour,
or even his notice, painters would take the
utmost pains and make the greatest sacrifices.
He controlled the market. There was only
one Gambart, and he made his power felt.
He was a man of discernment, and was also
the man who introduced Leys to the English
art world and recognised the genius of Rosa
It was by this remarkable man that Alma-
Tadema was taken up. Although it cannot be
EARLY SUCCESSES, 25
said that their introduction was absolutely un-
premeditated, neither did the " advance " — if it
might be so termed — come actually from Alma-
Tadema himself. It may be imagined that
countless were the efforts made by young and,
for the most part, unrecognised artists to
approach the astute Gambart. In the case of
Alma-Tadema, the introduction was brought
about in the following manner.
This modern Maecenas was bound for the
house of Dyckmans — Dyckmans during this
period being a highly successful painter. A
loyal and good friend of Alma-Tadema' s, Victor
Lagye by name, contrived to give Gambart' s
coachman a wrong address, with the joyful
result that the " Prince " in his equipage drew
up at the studio of Alma-Tadema instead of at
his predestined destination. The plot proved
completely successful. " In the doorway stood
the young painter, palpitating with excite-
Gambart now perceived his error. But,
being of a sporting turn of mind, he entered
He stood for some minutes in front of the
easel, whereon was displa}/ed Alma-Tadema' s
" Is the picture on the easel painted for
anybody ? " he inquired.
" Yes," replied Alma-Tadema.
" Has the purchaser seen it yet ? "
" Then it is mine ! "
And it duly became his. Nor did the
matter end here.
On his return to Antwerp after the delivery
of the first picture, the great dealer com-
missioned no fewer than twenty-four pictures
from Alma-Tadema's brush. Having discovered
a genius, his aim, of course, was to bind that
genius to him by ropes of — gold. He forthwith
arranged, on a frankly commercial basis, to pay
his new " find " for his work upon a progressive
scale — i.e., raising the price with each successive
At the same time, it at first appeared as
though there were " breakers ahead " for em-
ployer and employed. Alma-Tadema already
wanted to break away from his heretofore
favourite themes of the Frankish era, and to
engage upon subjects of a more classical genre.
This resolution of his led to countless discus-
sions between him and his patron ; but the
artist prevailed, and was permitted to desert
the Middle Ages in favour of another and more
remote period, Gambart having found it easier
to place his pictures of antiquity than those
inspired by the Middle Ages.
Yet it occupied four long years of the
artist's life to carry out this first commission
from the picture prince. And that is calcu-
lating at the rate of six pictures per annum !
" Gunthram Bose " was another of the
Merovingian Period paintings produced (in
EARLY SUCCESSES. 27
1862) before the artist turned in earnest to
his classical themes. This work was a striking
object-lesson in Alma - Tadema's gradually
developing capacity for microscopic detail —
for filling every inch of a small canvas — a
field in which he may well be said to have
rivalled Meissonier. The precise subject is the
attack upon Gunthram Bose, while escorting
his daughters from the asylum of St. Martin
de Tours, by the followers of Chilperic.
Gunthram, after commending the poor girls to
God and His Saints, falls upon the enemy,
slays % their leader, and saves his children. Alma-
Tadema also painted, about this period, " The
Death of Galsvintha," who is " strangled for
Gambart was exceedingly well pleased with
his contract with Alma-Tadema, in whom the
astute dealer had instantaneously recognised
one of the most brilliant painters of the age.
And to him came Gambart, at the fulfilment
of the first contract, with a proposal for a
new and stupendous agreement.
His proposition was in some sense a singular
one. This time the artist was to paint no
fewer than forty-eight pictures, divided into
three classes of importance, the first of which
was to be remunerated at a price where the
previous order had ceased (about £80), and so
on upon an ascending scale until the comple-
tion of the first twelve subjects. The scale
of the second class started at £100, the scale
of the third at £120. Now, Alma-Tadema had
faith in Gambart, and did not forget how " the
Prince " had in the first instance taken him
by the hand. Moreover, it suited the young
artist — who day by day was becoming better
known for work that had already brought a
new note into the art of the Continent — to
renew the contract, undismayed by the mag-
nitude of his task. As a matter of fact,
Gambart was not ungenerous, and had
already proved himself to be tremendously
One of the first twelve pictures of this
second series was that justly celebrated paint-
ing, " The Vintage/' which Gambart imme-
diately perceived to be immeasurably the most
important subject that Alma-Tadema had ap-
proached for the purposes of this contract.
He therefore announced his intention of
paying for it at the rate which he had
stipulated to pay for the last half-dozen
pictures. Nor did the matter rest here.
Directly upon the completion of " The Vint-
age " (and on the eve of Alma-Tadema' s de-
parture for England), the merchant-prince gave
a dinner to the artists of Brussels. Not until
Alma-Tadema took his seat at the table did he
realise that the " guest of the evening " was
none other than himself. In addition to a
handsome present of plate, the gratified artist
found tucked into his table-napkin a cheque
for £100, being the sum in excess of the arranged
< - 1
EARLY SUCCESSES. 29
price for " The Vintage " which his employer
had decided to pay.
It is so difficult, however, to continue to
speak of Alma-Tadema's works in their order of
sequence that it may be as well now to deal
with the chain of events slowly but surely
leading up to his change of mood and subject
as expressed in paintings of " The Vintage "
But, first, a few words concerning the
celebrated Georg Ebers, one of Alma-Tadema's
devoted friends and admirers, who is also
the author of an admirable exposition and
estimate of his friend's work. His sympathy
with Alma-Tadema was largely based upon
Ebers' extraordinary knowledge of Egypt-
ology, of which he became professor first at
Iena and afterwards at Leipzig. In addition
to his great work, " Egypt and the Books of
Moses/' Ebers published several excellent
romances, with a view to popularising the
Egyptian lore which he loved so well through
this medium. These historical novels com-
prise " Varda," " Serapis," " The Sisters," and
" Homo Sum," all of which attained varying
degrees of popularity.
FIRST VISIT TO ITALY, AND FRIENDSHIP WITH
IT has been already implied that the year
1863 was one of peculiar momentum to the
young artist, by reason of the demise of his
mother and of his first marriage. In another
respect, as affecting his art, the year was not
less momentous, inasmuch as it witnessed his
initial visit to Italy and an astonishing effect
upon his artistic output.
The Italian itinerary comprised Florence,
Rome, and Naples. Alma-Tadema the buoyant,
the impulsive, the enthusiastic, was straightway
captured by the teeming traditions, the living
beauties and possibilities, of a world that he
had heretofore only dreamed of. He went wild
with thought of the new old-world visions and
vistas opening out before him. For him the
ugliness and pitiless squalor of Merovingians
history — of cloistered queens and slaughtered
kings — as in a flash began to be made manifest.
He had been painting the Kingdom of Hate —
he who loved love and beauty and joy of life
in all its many matchless forms and aspects.
He would no more of it; of that he became
most speedily convinced. To him henceforward
By Permission of Messrs. Gooden & Fox,
the Owners of the Copyright.
FIRST VISIT TO ITALY. 31
the classic school should be dedicate. There
should be, there must be, no compromise.
He undertook the journey to Italy in the
autumn of 1863 (his honeymoon tour) with
the conviction that the Early Christian
churches in Italy would assist him in further-
ing his studies of the early Middle Ages ; and
so it was that he spent so much more time in
the study of the Italian schools of painting,
although the Roman antiquities of Pompeii
and the splendid museums of sculpture in
Rome and Naples, and even Florence, fas-
cinated him to such an extent that soon after
his return to the north, Roman and Greek
researches transplanted the early Middle Ages
and made him the exponent of Roman and
His dearly loved friend and commentator,
Georg Ebers, writes in reference to Alma-
Tadema's change from the portrayal of inci-
dents and episodes in a savagely splendid epoch
to the greater humanity of scenes taken from
the heart of a people's life : —
" He has only known them in a state of
turmoil and restless excitement. As soon as
the sensible lover of the historic life of mankind
discovers this fact, he turns from the political
history of royal families and governments, and
perceives that a people's true history is the
history of its civilisation, which teaches the
normal character of nations, their life in a
condition of health, and he joyfully perceives
how much more delightful it is to make him-
self familiar with the homes of the people to
be investigated, the regulations of their govern-
ment, their civil and social life, their religion
and science, than to know the names and
bloody deeds of their kings and the battles they
fought. From the kingdom of the Franks Alma-
Tadema turned to Rome and Hellas, and here
the progress of civilisation awakened an interest
that far outweighed every other. . . . His
gaze extended to the borders of the earth,
and, instead of seeking subjects in the pages
of a vivid historian, he fixed his eyes on the
nations of antiquity, and, without troubling
himself much about their political history,
began to investigate their life in all its phases.
The aspect of nature in Southern Europe
appealed powerfully to his soul. The deep
blue of the sky which overarches Italy, the
varying hues of the waves that wash its shore,
made a profound impression upon him, and
blended their glitter with the sunny radiance
of his own artist soul. He examined marble,
the mother of so many works of art, wherever
he found it : in its quarry, amid ruins, and in
new palaces, and learned to know it in every
stage of its existence, every shade of colouring,
and every imaginable light. I have spent
delightful sunny days with him on the shore
of the Mediterranean. One beautiful spring
morning — the sea was sparkling like pure
sapphires, and the prince's garden was dis-
FIRST VISIT TO ITALY. 33
playing the most luxuriant vernal green foliage
— he stood silently beside me a long time,
revelling in this splendour ; at last he exclaimed,
1 Can there be anything more superb ? And
yet fools say that pale green and blue do not
harmonise ! ' "
Ebers makes us comprehend the appeal made
to Alma-Tadema's soul by the new conditions,
the novel sights and sounds of the Italian
environment. The only thing to detract in
any way or ever so slightly from the value of
Ebers' criticism is his extraordinary affection
for the artist, which is observable in well-nigh
every sentence that he wrote about him.
In this same memorable year, 1863, " at
the portal, as it were, of his road through
antiquity," Alma-Tadema created the first of
his astonishing series of Egyptian pictures.
One uses the word " astonishing " advisedly
and in a double sense of the word, as it was
not until nearly four decades afterwards that
he visited the Land of the Pharaohs at all.
The subject of this first excursion into Egypt
was " Three Thousand Years Ago," repro-
ducing with life-like fidelity that which we
know to have been the approved holiday
pleasure of the early Egyptians. His next two
attempts in this kind were respectively entitled
"An Egyptian at his Doorway" and "The
Chess-players." So careful at all times about
detail, he took extraordinary care in the pre-
paration of his preliminary sketches for these
pictures. His viewpoint sensibly broadened
out by his studies in the south, until Egypt, in
his well-arranged mind, became bracketed with
Greece and Rome.
It was Ebers* who asked Alma-Tadema why
he had chosen to desert the field of Frankish
romance in favour of painting pictures of
Egyptian types and subjects. " Where else
should I have begun/' rejoined the artist, " as
soon as I had become acquainted with the life
of the ancients ? The first thing a child learns
of ancient history is about the court of Pharaoh ;
and if we go back to the source of art and
science, must we not return to Egypt ? "
In fine, Alma-Tadema' s first visit to Italy
was a revelation to him. It also extended his
archaeological learning to such a degree that
" his brain soon became a complete encyclo-
paedia of antiquity." Much of his time in
Rome and other cities was occupied in exploring
ruined temples, ruined palaces, ruins of amphi-
theatres, and, in fact, every niche and corner
reminiscent of a bygone age. Long years
afterwards these beauties lived, as they had
already lived in his pictures, in the splendid
Pompeian home that he reared for himself in
the heart of foggy London. Or, as one, writer
has not unworthily expressed it, " the famous
Dutchman called to life amid the London fog
the sacrifices of Pompeii and Herculaneum."
* Professor Ebers died in 1898.
ROSE OF ALL THE ROSES.
By Permission of Messrs. Gooden & Fox,
the Owners of the Copyright.
HIS HOME IN ENGLAND.
ALMA-TADEMA'S first married life lasted
for about six years, and was fraught with
much happiness for him. Four years and a half
after the death of their only son, Madame
Tadema died at Brussels in May, 1869, leaving
her husband with two little daughters, Laurence
and Anna. The elder of these two gifted ladies,
Miss Laurence Alma-Tadema, is a well-known
writer of stories, plays, and poems, of estab-
lished repute. Her plays have been staged
with success both in London and on the Con-
tinent. Of her more serious work, Miss Alma-
Tadema's romance " The Wings of Icarus," and
the remarkable strength of her tragic playlet
The Unseen Helmsman, have the most power-
fully impressed the present writer. Her sister,
Miss Anna Alma-Tadema, has attained some
distinction as an artist, having in the first
instance, of course, studied under her father
and stepmother. She has won medals at the
Berlin and Paris Expositions for some par-
ticularly dainty and distinctive work.
Too young to have any pictures on view at
the London Exhibition of 1862, the work of
Alma-Tadema's brush was already known in
England, thanks to Gambart, in 1864. In the
'sixty-two Exhibition, however, the work of at
least two Belgic masters gained well-deserved
recognition and honour. Leys showed his
altogether admirable " Luther Singing the
Canticles in the Streets of Eisenach," " The
Institution of the Order of the Golden Fleece/ '
and several other important pictures. The
second Belgian honoured there was Louis
Gallait, renowned for his " Last Moments of
Count Egmont " and " Last Honours Paid to
Counts Egmont and Horn," the latter being
the ghastly canvas best known to the art
public as " Les Tetes Coupees."
I have said that. London was Alma-Tadema's
obvious goal. In 1865 his work was exhibited
there for the first time. This was at the old
French Gallery, where his " Egyptian Games "
and " Sortie de TEglise " were hung. In 1866
these were followed by other pictures painted
for Gambart — " Portico of a Roman Theatre "
and " Roman Lady Returning from Making Pur-
chases " — both shown at the French Gallery
without attracting much apparent attention.
But that Alma-Tadema was gradually
winning his way to honourable recognition on
the part of the English public is shown by this
tribute from what was at that time the only
exclusively art journal of the day in reference
to his exhibit in the French Gallery of 1867 :
" We cannot close without calling attention to a
class of remarkable pictures which, founded on
By Permission of Messrs. L, H. Lefeure & Son,
the Owners of the Copyright.
HIS HOME IN ENGLAND. 37
the antique, seeks to reanimate the life of the
old Romans. In this range of subject, which
has for the imagination singular fascination,
Alma-Tadema shows surpassing mastery.
1 Tibulus' Visit to Delia ' has the merit of
being a study and feast for the antiquary, so
careful and true are the restorations. The pig-
ments are a little opaque, as if the artist had
carried in his mind the ancient practice of
tempera. Yet does the painter put forth the
full power of his palette, and through con-
trasts and harmonies gain marvellous results."
Very shortly after the death of his wife
Alma-Tadema came to London. On arrival in
the metropolis, his first idea for a studio and
pied-d-terre was the unromantic vicinity of
Camden Square, in North London, occupying
for six months the house and studio of Mr. Fred
Goodall, R.A.,who was travelling in Egypt during
that time. But he knew that in St. John's
Wood and its neighbourhood he would find
himself surrounded by many leading members
of the artist community of the metropolis.
Thither he removed, therefore, on his second
marriage, which took place on July 29th, 1871.
Alma-Tadema' s second wife was, as Miss
Laura Theresa Epps, his pupil from the age of
eighteen. Since her marriage she has made
enormous strides with her painting, and among
her well-deserved honours may be mentioned the
gold medal of the Berlin Exhibition of 1896 (for
the admirable painting entitled " Satisfaction")
and the silver medal of the Paris Exposition
Universelle of 1900. For twenty years she has
been a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy,
and in her work — more particularly, perhaps,
in devoting herself to the tradition of the
old Dutch masters — the influence of her hus-
band and mentor is frequently observable.
The best known among her paintings, perhaps,
are " The Carol,' ' " Persuasion/ ' " The Shadow
of the Future " (purchased by H.R.H. the
Prince of Wades), "The Ring," "The New
Book," "Sisters," " Hush-a-bye," and "The
Pain of Parting," the last-named having for
its motto two expressive lines from Burns :
" I can dee, but carina' part ;
My bonnie dearie."
On his marriage with Miss Epps, Alma-
Tadema ensconced himself and his family in a
charmingly pretty house (" Townshend House ")
in Park Road, Regent's Park, and, in intervals of
his painting, set himself to transform this cosy
residence into the nearest approach to a Roman
villa that his knowledge and his resources
could achieve. The result was equally a source
of unfeigned delight to himself, his family, and
his friends. The Tademas continued to reside
in this " pretty box," as Milton would have
called it, until 1874, when an untoward event
drove them first to Rome for the winter of
1874-5, an d afterwards into larger and more
commodious premises in St. John's Wood.
DOLCE FAR NIENTE.
By Perm : ssion of Messrs. L. H, Lefeure & Son,
the Owners of the Copyright.
HIS HOME IN ENGLAND. 39
The accident referred to was the terrible
explosion of a barge, laden with some high
explosive, w T hile passing up Regent's Canal
in the small hours of the morning. The
remains of the poor people in charge of the
boat w r ere never found, all the houses in the
immediate neighbourhood were more or less
badly damaged, and some were wrecked. Such
was the force of this tremendous upheaval
that, it being feared that some of the cages
in the Zoological Gardens might have been
shattered, the gardens were promptly sur-
rounded by troops from the neighbouring
barracks, armed with ball cartridge. Fortu-
nately, this additional calamity had not taken
place, albeit the shock of the explosion greatly
alarmed and excited the beasts in the cages.
They were much too frightened to move, but
the birds escaped from their damaged cages
in great numbers, returning, however, to find
Alma-Tadema's residence, from its exposed
position where the canal intersects Regent's
Park, suffered severely. His two little girls
had a really miraculous escape. They were
aroused by the window-sash being suddenly
blown on to the bed in which they lay sleeping,
while at the same time hundreds of hazel-nuts
(a portion of the cargo of the ill-fated barge)
were wafted about the wrecked house.
The place was "restored" by Alma-Tadema's
own exertions, and was subsequently occupied
by Mr. Henry Arthur Jones, whose generous
hospitality the present writer well remembers
having enjoyed there.
Alma-Tadema' s "A Roman Emperor " was
painted (for Gambart) during his occupation
of GoodalFs studio. It was during his resi-
dence in Rome, after the explosion, that he
executed the greater part of " An Audience at
Agrippa's," in every way one of his most sig-
nificant undertakings, in which " a whole
historic epoch is crystallised and rendered
concrete/' It was finished in Brussels, on
the way to Italy, in 1875. In this fine work
the artist does not for a moment sacrifice
the effect of the story to its magical environ-
ment of mosaics, marbles, statue, and back-
ground of sky. Alma-Tadema made of this
subject one of his most noteworthy and most
universally acclaimed triumphs.
Although the partial demolition of his
London home must have been in the nature of
a heavy blow to Alma-Tadema, he applied him-
self with characteristic ardour and enthusiasm
to the task of restoring it. Some years later,
however, he acquired and proceeded to re-
construct the mansion, with its extensive
grounds, in the Grove End Road, which has
since become one of the most celebrated of
London's houses. It would be a work of
supererogation to describe this bouse — or,
rather, this delicious blend of old Rome,
old Athens, and of the natural country.
HIS HOME IN ENGLAND. 41
" A fireplace of white and coloured marble,
surmounted by an unusually sightly chimney,
in the shape of a silvered column with gilt
capital and base," wrote an early visitor to
the house, " is one of the features of the lesser
studio ; also a window of onyx and transparent
marble, brought from Townshend House. The
walls, and a low arch at one end of the room,
are entirely white, but the loftier and greater
portion of the ceiling is embellished by beams
and panels of polished woods, principally of
pitch-pine, which is also the material used for
the flooring, bookcases, and general woodwork.
" The studio is on a higher level than its
companion apartment ; at the head of a short
flight of steps a small landing with open balus-
trades overlooks the lower room, the floor of
which is tiled and the decoration simple. One
wall is fitted with doors ornamented by plates
of metal, on which are etched, by Mr. Leopold
Lowenstam, sketches of Alma-Tadema's ' Four
Seasons ' ; these doors slide into the wall,
and leave a wide opening, which communicates
directly with the garden, making the room
perfect in summer. In the centre of this
opening stands a stone column which was
brought from Brambletye House, in Sussex,
built in the seventeenth century by a brother
of Oliver Cromwell.' '
For nearly twenty years after entering
into possession of it, Alma-Tadema and his
artistic wife laboured at the congenial task
of rendering their splendid home more and
more a thing of beauty. Moreover, they have
been greatly aided in this task by the loving
efforts of friends and admirers of the master.
Thus, one of the loveliest features in the entire
scheme is the unending series of panel-paintings
wherewith many of Alma-Tadema's distin-
guished contemporaries have enriched the fine
entrance hall. Specimens from Boughton, Sar-
gent, Calderon, Van Haanen, are here. Very
notable among these dainty panels are " The
Bath of Psyche " by the late Lord Leighton,
"A Temple at Philae " by the Hon. John
Collier, " Cherry Garden Stairs " by Mr. Charles
Wyllie, "A Bit of Old Hampstead " by Mr.
Charles Green, " A Landscape " by Mr. H. W. B.
Davis, and " Apple Blossoms " by Mr. Alfred
Parsons. In more than one instance these
" tall, long pictures," as Monkhouse calls them,
have proved the inspiration for an elaborate
painting, as was the case with the exquisite
panel contributed by Lord Leighton. Wonder-
fully varied as they are, these panels are a
source of never-ending joy alike to the inmates
and visitors at Grove End Road. The ex-
pression " never-ending " is here employed
advisedly, for with the spacious hall well
filled they would overflow into other apart-
ments of the house — that is, so long as Alma-
Tadema's colleagues and admirers maintained
the supply. The very idea of the panels was
a charming tribute to the master's invincible
HIS HOME IN ENGLAND. 43
popularity. There are some fifty of them at
least. Mr. Briton Riviere has contributed a
beautiful picture of three lions in the night,
and other contributors are Sir E. J. Poynter,
P.R.A., Mr. East, Mr. David Murray, and Mr.
Wirgman — not to mention a delightful speci-
men of the art of Waterlow, a delicious Dick-
see, and a hugely characteristic MacWhirter.
The two studios, Alma-Tadema's and his
wife's, are an essential feature in the scheme
of this house. His own is illustrative alike of
the artist and the man, and it is also a marvel
of comfortableness, because Alma - Tadema
works in an " open " studio, where his friends
may visit him. His wife's spacious studio is
a boudoir as well, in the style of Dutch Renais-
sance, and here she " receives " and paints
away at the quaint and pretty subjects that
have earned her such high honours from the
academies of England and the Continent.
In speaking of Alma-Tadema's first London
residence, Townshend House, I might have
mentioned that its attractions included a ceiling
painted by himself, whilst the classical subjects
with which he adorned his studio included
" Venus and Mars " and " Bacchus and Silenus."
The latter suffered a hard and unromantic fate,
being irretrievably damaged by the bursting
of a water-pipe during the occupation of the
house by Mr. Henry Arthur Jones.
Alma-Tadema's house in Grove End Road
was originally numbered seventeen, and seven-
teen is his " lucky number.' ' Lady Alma-
Tadema was seventeen when he first met her.
It was on August 17th (1886) that he began
to rebuild the house. And it was on No-
vember 17th, three years later, that he and
his family went into residence there. More-
over, Townshend House was No. 17, Tichfield
At the time when he first pitched his tent in
St. John's Wood, Alma-Tadema could reckon
among his " neighbours " a large number of
the most talented men and women in London.
At one time or another, George Eliot, Tom
Hood, Douglas Jerrold, Shirley Brooks, Mdlle.
Titiens, and Hepworth-Dixon were all residents
of this delightful corner of the metropolis, not
to mention Landseer and a great many of
Alma-Tadema's brother-artists. For obvious
reasons, St. John's Wood must always remain
a principal resort of the painting fraternity of
Lawrence Alma-Tadema was granted letters
of denization as a British subject in 1873,
the year in which he finished " The Death of
IN THE TIME OF CONSTANTINE.
Bu Permission of Messrs. L H. Lefeure & Son,
the Owners of the Copyright.
PICTURES OF THE LATE 'SIXTIES AND THE
IN his laudable ambition for the distinction
of exhibiting a picture at the Royal
Academy of London, Alma-Tadema was unfor-
tunately delayed one whole year by a singularly
regrettable accident. He particularly desired
to send a picture entitled " Phidias at Work in
the Parthenon " to the Academy, but for some
reason the private purchaser of the painting
declined to permit it to be publicly exhibited,
very greatly to the chagrin of the young artist.
This was in 1868. It was all the more to be
regretted because in the previous year, as
already mentioned, he had shown no fewer
than thirteen pictures at the Paris Exhibition.
He was awarded the second-class medal of the
The picture which might have figured, but
did not, in the Academy of 1868, shows Phidias
immediately after he has completed his great
frieze for the Parthenon. It is therefore a very
grave and dignified conception, introducing as
it does the great personages of Athens — Pericles,
Alcibiades, Aspasia — who have come to view
the finished work. Truly a lofty and noble
theme grandly treated, the artist so profoundly
comprehending how to reproduce the marble
the sculptor has wrought, and painting the
colours of the sculpture as he believes they
In 1865 Alma-Tadema had painted the genre
picture from the heart of Roman life, " A Lady
Returning from Market," wherein the porter of
her house is respectfully opening the door to
admit the lady, her daughter, and her slaves.
He followed this up with two different studies
of Lesbia, these owing their inspiration to the
poems of Catullus. In the second of these
Lesbia is weeping over her dead sparrow, the
effect recalling Juvenal's poem of the maid
" Who wept until her eyes were red
Over her darling sparrow dead."
(" Turbavit cujus nitidos extinctus passer ocellus.")
With regard to this dainty picture, I be-
lieve it to be a fact that the critic of a German
paper complained of Alma-Tadema for having
made a Roman, " who had no pity for animals,"
weep for the death of a bird ! The artist had
only to refer this poor gentleman to Catullus.
The year 1866 found Alma-Tadema sending
forth from Brussels his " Agrippina with the
Ashes of Germanicus," " The Entrance to a
Roman Theatre," " Glaucus and Lydia," and
f< Preparing for a Festival in a Pompeiian
A LOVER OF ART.
In the Corporation Art Galleries,
PICTURES OF THE 'SEVENTIES. 47
House"; this last a picture giving full scope
to his power and sense of beauty as bril-
liantly exhibited in the girl weaving garlands
for the approaching celebration.
The following year was memorable for the
artist (apart from the Paris Exposition), as
in it he completed three elaborate paintings —
viz. " Tarquinius Superbus," " Claudius Sum-
moned to the Imperial Throne After the Murder
of Caligula,"* and " Egyptians Lamenting Their
Dead." Of these the first-mentioned is a
superb effort. The arrogant Tarquinius, a
dominating figure, is seen striking off the heads
of those poppies which have dared to grow
taller than the others in the field. Viewed
sheerly as a piece of painting, this is probably
the finest conception of a field of poppies ever
committed to canvas. In " Egyptians Lament-
ing Their Dead " the widow is bowed in grief at
the feet of the mummy, and her anguish is
not less strongly and characteristically por-
trayed than the surroundings, which are an
absolute transcript of Egyptian life — and
In 1868 Alma-Tadema selected a Greek
theme, " The Siesta " :
" In the cool shade rest thee now,
Fair Bathyllus, in this tree ;
Through its foliage to and fro
Zephyr wanders dreamily."
"The largest picture" (I quote the Art
* Again treated by the artist several years later.
Journal) " that Mr. Alma-Tadema, whose
scale of painting so often rivals that of Meis-
sonier, apparently ever produced is named
' The Siesta.' Surrounded by bric-a-brac of
the period, an older and a younger Greek
are resting on their couches ; roses, grapes,
and an amphora of wine are at their elbows,
and a flute girl stands by to soothe them with
her music.' ' (This picture is now in the Museum
of Madrid, and was executed to show how this
and the three other pictures, part of a decora-
tion for a dining-room, were intended to be re-
produced. The other series consisted of " The
Service," " The Dinner," " The Wine," and
" The Siesta." " But no one was tempted," says
Alma-Tadema.) " But it is to works of a more
characteristic style that we look for the artist's
personality. As we like literature which is
literary, poetry which is poetical, and art which
is artistic ; as we would choose to go to the
northern countries not in that summer in
which strangers are wont to see them, but in
their characteristic winter, and to go to the
south in its own characteristic heat and summer,
so in like manner do we enjoy Alma-Tadema
more the more he is truly representative of
himself ; not when he is painting in colossal
size, but when he is making light, space, and
air play in a little canvas of inches. Such a
gem is ' Fishing,' hardly surpassed among its
author's works. A pond in some luxurious classic
garden has reeds and flowers on its banks ;
PICTURES OF THE 'SEVENTIES. 49
a woman is fishing with a golden wall behind
her ; and this picture, with its lucid water,
its exquisite draperies, and its delicate gold,
is a little school of colour."
The comparison with Meissonier is of
surpassing interest. Not less than the French
master, Alma-Tadema has very frequently
adopted a microscopic method on a tiny
canvas. A chief point of divergence is the
distribution of the interest in a picture in the
ratio of its significance to the whole.
During 1868-69 Alma-Tadema was em-
ployed upon his charming " Flower Girl,"
" The Boudoir," and " The Embarkation," the
two last being subjects copied from the life
of Roman citizens. " The Embarkation " be-
came the property of Mesdag, the Dutch marine
painter. There was at this time no end to Alma-
Tadema' s industry. " In ' The Sick Chamber ' *
(now in the Victoria and Albert Museum),
and another superb picture which we might
call ' Before Churching ' — it might have served
Claus Meyer as a model — he has been pleased
to join the ranks of the old Netherlanders."
In 1870 he finished " At Lesbia's " and com-
menced his beautiful " Vintage " composition,
with its joyous priestess, lovely maidens, and
lusty men. This is a long picture, almost
suggesting that it might have been intended
for a frieze. It speedily became celebrated on
the Continent, owing to Blanchard's admirable
* Better known as "The Visit."
The famous " Pyrrhic Dance "* was the
first of Alma-Tadema's pictures to be hung in
the present Burlington House. This was in 1869.
It was speedily followed by " The Juggler "
in 1870, and by " A Roman Emperor " in 1871.
" In this version/' says Mrs. Edmund Gosse,
" he ventured upon an entirely new scheme
of colouring, to the despair, it is said, of certain
of his clients, who saw in this departure an
alarming tendency towards Pre-Raphaelitism.
They felt that the public, which had lately
learned to accept Mr. Alma-Tadema as an
expounder of cool white marbles and pale-
tinted robes, was not being fairly treated ;
for here he was, boldly introducing a copper-
headed girl into the crowd of his Roman rabble,,
and clothing the very bodies of the dead in
gay-coloured blues and vivid purples, while
even the purity of the marble floor was not
only stained with the redness of blood, but
was everywhere cut up and intersected by
distracting, many-coloured mosaics. This was,
indeed, to open out a revolutionary prospect
into the future ! "
The theme is best described historically.
11 When the Praetorian soldiers had killed Cali-
gula, his family, and the members of his house-
hold, they were afraid an Emperor would be
thrust on them by the Senate. To ascertain
whether any of the Imperial family had
been forgotten, they returned to the palace
* For Ruskin's attack see Chapter VIII.
By Permission of the Artist.
PICTURES OF THE 'SEVENTIES. 51
and discovered Claudius hidden behind a
curtain. They carried him off to their camp,
on Mount Aventinus, and proclaimed him
Emperor to the bewilderment of all the world.
He was the first Emperor who had to pay the
soldiers for his election ; it was the beginning
of the end." The picture is now in the Walters'
Collection, Baltimore, U.S.A. To this Academy
of 1 871 he likewise contributed " Grand Cham-
berlain to His Majesty King Sesostris the
Great." Singularity is perhaps the abiding
characteristic of this work, which assuredly
only one artist in the world and in the period
could have painted.
Alma-Tadema is at once the fastest and the
slowest of workers. In proof of this statement
it is only necessary to compare his huge out-
put of work in certain years (notably in 1873-
74) with the two years of labour which he
expended upon one canvas, " The Finding of
Moses." With him, however, it is entirely
a question of mood, and some of his most
telling successes contain the most rapid of
His first four pictures painted (at Towns-
hend House) after his second marriage were
" Pottery," " Reproaches," " Fete Intime," and
" Cherries." The life-size figure of a woman,
reclining on a tiger skin and gazing longingly
upon the fruit she is about to eat, is the basis
of " Cherries," a very notable success which
he subsequently presented to the cercle artis-
tique of Antwerp. Then came " Greek Wine,"
a picture so transcendently sparkling that an
admiring critic thought the artist must have
been inspired by the song of Meleagros :
" Mix, when thou dost fill the goblet,
With Heliodora's name the draught.
And on my brow the chaplet set
She gave me as the wine I quaffed !
With tears its roses seem bedewed,
As though the garland fair doth weep,
Because within my arms I could
Not Heliodora's fair form keep."
* r Like this garland of flowers/' sings a poet
from the anthology of his Rhodoclea, " thou
wilt bloom and fade." This fate will also be
shared by the young Greek wife who in Alma-
Tadema's work, " The Last Roses," is laying
the late roses of autumn, as a pious offering,
on the marble altar.
I have, for a particular reason, treated of
"The Death of the First-born" (1873) on
another page. It was followed in 1874 (a
wonderfully prolific year) by that most singular
picture, " Joseph, Overseer of the Granaries "
— remarkable as being the only one of his
friend's efforts that Ebers seriously criticised
—by " Fishing," " Sunny Days," " Water Pets,"
' Antistius Labeon," " A Peep Through the
Trees," and by " The Sculpture Gallery " and
" The Picture Gallery," which fairly set the
seal upon their author's fame. They also
paved the way for the violent attack by Ruskin
PICTURES OF THE 'SEVENTIES. .53
upon the methods of Alma-Tadema which
was the feature of his " Academy Notes " of
1875, and was of such a character that it is
desirable to quote it here in full :
" The actual facts which Shakespeare knew
about Rome were in number and accuracy,
compared to those which Mr. Alma-Tadema
knows, as the pictures of a child's first story-
book compared to Smith's ' Dictionary of
Antiquities.' But when Shakespeare wrote :
' The noble sister of Publicola,
The moon of Rome ; chaste as the icicle
That's curled by the frost from purest snow,
And hangs on Dian's temple ' —
he knew Rome herself to the heart ; and Mr.
Alma-Tadema, after reading his Smith's
' Dictionary ' through from A to Z, knows
nothing of her but her shadow ; and that,
cast at sunset. . . . ' The Sculpture Gallery,'
I suppose, we must assume to be the principal
historical piece of the year ; a work showing
artistic skill and classic learning both in high
degree. But both parallel in their method of
selection. The artistic skill has succeeded with
all its objects in the degree of their unimport-
ance. The piece of silver plate is painted
best ; the griffin bas-relief it stands on, second
best ; the statue of the empress worse than
the griffins, and the living personages worse
than the statue. I do not know what feathers
the fan with the frightful mask in the handle,
held by the nearest lady, is supposed to be
made of ; to a simple spectator they look like
peacock's without the eyes. And, indeed, the
feathers, under which the motto ' I serve ' of
French art seems to be written in these days
are, I think, very literally, all feather and no
eyes — the raven's feather, to wit, of Sycorax.
The selection of the subject is similarly — one
might say filamentous — of the extremity in-
stead of the centre. The old French Re-
publicans, reading of Rome, chose such events
to illustrate her history as the battle of Romulus
with the Sabines, the vow of the Horatii, or
the self-martyrdom of Lucretia. The modern
Republican sees in the Rome he studies so
profoundly only a central establishment for
the manufacture and sale of imitation Greek
articles of vertu. The execution is dexterous,
but more with mechanical steadiness of prac-
tice than innate fineness of nerve. It is
impossible, however, to say how much the
personal nervous faculty of an artist of this
calibre is paralysed by his education in schools
which I could not characterise in my Oxford
inaugural lectures otherwise than as the ' schools
of clay,' in which he is never shown what
Venetians or Florentines meant by ' painting/
and allowed to draw his flesh steadily and
systematically with shadows of charcoal and
lights of cream soap, without ever considering
whether there would be any reflections in the
one or any flush of life in the other. The
THE SCULPTURE GALLERY.
By Permission of Messrs. L. H. Lefeure & Son,
the Owners of the Copyright.
PICTURES OF THE 'SEVENTIES. 55
head on the extreme left is exceptionally good ;
but who ever saw a woman's neck and hand
blue-black under reflection from white drapery,
as they are in the nearer figure ? "
Whether the above be sound or profound
criticism, it is not for the present writer to
presume to pass an opinion. It is certainly
informed by much of the pedantry of style
and form whereof Ruskin complains so bitterly
in Alma-Tadema's works, as well as by a power-
ful leaven of the great critic's passionate love
forwiiat the French call " fine writing." I ven-
ture to add a brief extract from another source,
also in regard to this pair of pictures, merely
pausing to note that an apparent crime, in
Ruskin' s judgment, was the selection by Alma-
Tadema of homely rather than noble or
" It must be boldly admitted," wrote the
critic of Blackwood's Magazine, " that but one
painter in Europe could turn out of hand
' The Sculpture Gallery ' and ' The Picture
Gallery.' Absolutely illusive in its details is
the studio of the sculptor. Here sits, in
marble, the mother of Nero ; we recognise
the bust of Pericles, and the infant Hercules
strangling serpents ; Pompeian lamps hang
from the ceiling ; around are decorative reliefs ;
and in the midst stands a basalt tazza, rotated
by a workman, before wondering visitors. As
usual, the inanimate marbles and metals,
painted to perfection, are more living than
flesh and blood ; and some might object to
the huddling together into one studio of plastic
works belonging to distant epochs and the
products of divers lands. But a painter, pro-
vided only he constructs a good picture, is
by common consent allowed considerable
licence. The artist's masterpiece is, we are
inclined to think, ' The Picture Gallery,' wherein
a well-known picture dealer, standing in the
midst, figures as proprietor or cicerone. As
usual, the archaeology is boldly defiant of
To this I may append a note by the artist
" These two pictures were painted for Gam-
bart, who had them in his villa at Nice up
till the last — at least, he had ' The Picture
Gallery,' the amateur being his own portrait,
and the other figures men of his business.
' The Sculpture Gallery ' he afterwards sold
to Mr. McCulloch in London. The figures in
it are the portraits of myself and my family."
After their public exhibition at Berlin —
where they won for the artist the Great Gold
Medal, and a few years later led to his securing
that rare distinction, the Prussian Order of
Merit — and elsewhere, Gambart jealously kept
these two pictures in his villa at Nice, only
showing them to the favoured few, for he
prized them highly for many reasons.
Partly in Italy and partly at home (1875),
the artist relaxed not his efforts, though the
' • - ' . .
THE PICTURE GALLERY.
By Permission of Me srs. L. H. Lefeure & Son,
the Owners of the Copyright.
PICTURES OF THE 'SEVENTIES. 57
art world of Europe now rang with his fame.
He completed his " Cleopatra/' and then, re-
verting to his Gregory of Tours and the
Merovingian dynasty, he rapidly produced a
trilogy with the quaint title " The Tragedy
of an Honest Wife." The honest wife in
question is the ill-fated Queen Galsvintha,
and the three canvases treat of (i) her arrival
with her dowry at her husband's court ; (2)
her assassination ; and (3) the miracle after
From this digression, " Back to old Rome ! "
would appear to have been Alma-Tadema's
cry. " He is Coming " and " After the Dance "
are in some sense sequels to one another.
In the first, a rose-clad girl waits impatiently
for her lover to take her to the feast — the
festival of Bacchus ; while in the second the
dance is ended and the tired Bacchante rests
her weary limbs on a wild beast's skin.
Alma-Tadema has been very much addicted
to introducing, with masterly effect, tiger and
other skins into his pictures of this genre. In
his magnificent " An Audience at Agrippa's "
(1875-76) there is an exquisitely painted tiger-
skin. With this the artist himself was very
much delighted, remarking to Miss Zimmern,
" Can't you see him wag his tail ? " This
scene in the vestibule of the lordly Agrippa's
palace was destined to attract an immense
amount of attention, and particularly interested
and appealed to English audiences.
" Hide and Seek/' which followed next,
shows us the Villa Albani at Rome (which
Alma-Tadema once humorously described as
" a glorified tea-garden ") with a boy and a girl
playing the old-fashioned game. The picture
is further remarkable for its humour, its per-
spective, and its wonderful marbled effects.
" A Nymphaum,'' again, is a study of a
balneatrix descending into the bath, where,
in the distance, women are bathing. " Hope
and Fear " is an inimitable study of an
old man, Grecian in mould and form ; his
daughter, armed with a bouquet of roses and
myrtle, choosing the meal-time to ask her
father to be allowed to marry the one she
Meanwhile, Alma-Tadema had been elected
an Associate of the Royal Academy, to be
followed by the fuller title of Academician three
years afterwards — namely, in 1879. After
" The Death of the First-born " it had been
impossible for the authorities longer to neglect
his claims to honourable distinction. The news
of his election to an Associateship came to
cheer him up during his enforced stay in
Rome subsequent to the wreck of Townshend
The idea of a life-size figure, to be entitled
" The Sculptor's Model," was suggested to
Alma-Tadema' s mind by the discovery, in 1874,
of the so-called Venus of Esquiline. He com-
pleted this great canvas in 1877. The purity
THERE HE IS!
By Permission of Messrs. L. H. Lefeure & Son,
the Owners of the Copyright.
PICTURES OF THE 'SEVENTIES. 59
of the conception, the wonderful flesh tints
and the slender girlishness of the nude figure,
formed a most compelling combination of
charm before which every note save undivided
admiration was silent. The girl is holding up
her hair with one hand, the other resting
upon a feathery fern, while the general attitude
appears to signify a certain vexation at the
monotony of a model's task. Alma-Tadema has
reason to be proud of this creation of his. It
exhibited his genius in yet another varying
form and phase, and it considerably heightened
his reputation among those best qualified to
Previous to his departure for another Italian
visit in 1878, he painted the dainty little
pastoral of Pompeian life, " A Loving Welcome. "
Father, mother, servant, and dog are all greeting
the little daughter who has returned home in
safety. The male parent, evidently a " literary
man " of the period, has hastily deserted his
writing to greet the little wanderer. It is a
picture replete with a joyousness that shines
out of all the accessories as well — the garden
with its beautiful coloured flowers, the glow
of the tints — and you even seem to hear the
very plash of the fountain joining in the wel-
come. The portraits in this picture are those
of the artist himself, his wife, and daughters.
The work was a commission from Sir Henry
Thompson, whose portrait Alma-Tadema has
Nor must mention be omitted here of
" Fredegonda and Galsvintha," a life-size can-
vas in which he returns for the moment to
his Merovingians. In painting this fine work
he drew upon his trilogy of " The Tragedy of
an Honest Wife." (f We see the chagrined
Fredegonda watching with bowed head while
Chilperic, the husband who is hers no more,
is engaged in the great Frankish marriage
ceremony — ' breaking the willow branch ' —
with her hated rival Galsvintha. Near by an
attendant on the bride bears, mounted on a
long staff, the crown of gold of the Visigoths.
The scene is effectively backgrounded by the
church of red brick. The artist has rendered
with tremendous power and fidelity the state
of the wretched Fredegonda' s mind as re-
vealed in her countenance. The colouring
and grouping generally are characteristically
wonderful.' ' This picture is now in the Museum
Nine of his collected works, headed by
" The Death of the First-born," went to Paris
for the Exposition Universelle of 1878. The
reader will not be surprised to learn that the
master's chef-d'ceuvre had carried off the
To the year 1879 belongs a particularly
delicate study, " Well-protected Slumber."
" Pomona's Festival " consists of dancers
gyrating around a tree, whilst " After the
Audience " was the humorous outcome of a
By Permission of Messrs. L. H. Lefeure & Son,
the Owners of the Copyright.
PICTURES OF THE 'SEVENTIES. 61
request to the artist that he should paint a
sequel or pendant to his " Audience at
Agrippa's." The recent petitioners are de-
picted wending their way homewards, their
backs turned to the spectators. It is noticeable
that in all his output Alma-Tadema has never
wearied of inserting quiet touches of humour
such as this.
" THE DEATH OF THE FIRST-BORN," " THE
FOUR . SEASONS," AND " SAPPHO."
IT was in 1873 that Alma-Tadema gave to
the world the great picture which must stand
for all time as the supreme test of his genius.
A few words may suffice to describe the leading
characteristics of this conception of the last
plague of Egypt. The beautiful dead first-
born lies in the lap of the king (who, finding
the doctor's advice of no avail, has gone to
the temple to pray the gods for help), but
with head resting against the mother's knees.
A bandage surrounds the dead child's brow ;
his arm hangs down limp and motionless.
Pharaoh sits as one petrified, but the mother
in her passionate grief presses her cheek to
the boy's pulseless heart. The baffled phy-
sician crouches by the side of the stricken
monarch. At Pharaoh's feet the priests have
flung themselves in circle around him, to pray
for the first-born's recovery. Behind them the
music and chanters join in chorus to induce the
gods to yield ; and through the doorway one
sees Moses and Aaron, awaiting the tyrant's
final decision. The canvas is a low one, con-
veying a remarkable effect of the presumed
"THE DEATH OF THE FIRST-BORN." 63
height of the apartment. It is in every way
an epoch-making picture.
Ebers' recorded opinion was : " The most
touching painting ever created by an artist's
Gnauth's criticism was : " This picture pro-
duces the impression of a divine hymn."
It is well known to be the one inspiration
of his whereby Alma-Tadema is content to be
judged. The painting is a prized possession,
and it will always remain the cherished pro-
perty of his descendants. It was commenced
in 1857, was finished at Townshend House, and
was exhibited not only in the Royal Academy
of 1874, but also in Paris, Brussels, and Berlin,
adorning the autumn art exhibition in the
German capital. At Paris, in 1864, it won
the Gold Medal. Professor Ebers, approach-
ing it from the standpoint of the Egyptolo-
gist as well as of the artist, found it altogether
faultless in exactness of detail as of treatment.
And it has to be borne in mind that Alma-
Tadema was an entire stranger to the land of
Pharaoh (except for studying its antiquity and
art) until years afterwards.
" There is one instance, one only/' remarked
a writer in the Art Journal in praise of this
superb effort, " in which the painter of allegresse
has with a serious intention attempted tragedy.
And, unexpectedly enough, this is understood
to be the artist's own favourite work, and the
one which he retains as his own possession.
An Egyptian subject, it is treated with the
principal of Egyptian qualities — repose. The
last worst plague sent upon the oppressors of
Israel is shown striking the beloved young
first-born, a slender adolescent who lies across
his mother's knees. She sits in her monumental
grief while slaves crouch near in the formal
attitude of sorrow. The picture expresses
silence, and the painter has avoided any demon-
strative expression in the eyes of his sufferers.
The colour is rich and low, and thus altogether
an antithesis to the sweet brilliance of Mr.
Alma-Tadema's habitual work. And this brings
us to one of his greatest merits as a colourist
— the quality of colour significance. ..."
There was literally not one dissentient voice
in either the public or the critical appreciation
of this great work. It is an astonishing tour
de force. The Art Journal is scarcely accurate,
however, in surmising that it is the only in-
stance where the artist has " with a serious
intention " attempted high tragedy.
In a rather remarkable romance of old
Egyptian mysticism I came across a passage
which is quoted here as giving in some sort
an impression of the awe-inspiring Ten Plagues
as suggested by the quiet horror of Alma-
Tadema's great conception :
" Did not the king cover his eyes as he
prayed to Osiris to save the land from the evil
that had befallen his house ? Oh, that awful
day, spoken of with dread till the later evils
"THE FOUR SEASONS." 65
surpassed and hid it ! I woke in the morning,
and, going to the bath, it was blood ! I looked
from the window over the river ; it was blood !
Blood, clammy and cold and everywhere ! I,
even I, ran to the king where he sat brave and
noble on his throne, giving audience to his
councillors, and the fountains in the council
court were blood too ! And they said, ' It is
the man Moses that has done this thing,' and
I would have had the king kill him ; yet he
would not, so that the punishment of the gods
fell on him at a later day, and he and all his
brave host were lost in the cruel sea."
Turn we now from this to more winsome
themes. It is not merely for the sake of con-
trast that I have selected " The Four Seasons,"
painted in 1878-79, for separate treatment in
this chapter. As a matter of fact, this cycle of
pictures forms one of the most important of
all the master's efforts. The first in order,
" Spring," shows a lovely young girl roaming a
delicious meadow, the while she ponders what
shall she do with the beautiful blossom that
she holds in her hand. It is a picture filled
with magical suggestion, rich in colour, and
one into which he who runs may read his own
Number two, " Summer," is the interior of
one of the Roman bathrooms that the artist
knows so well how to treat. The languid
beauty sunk in the bath lazily fans herself with
an ostrich fan while her sister reclines on a bench
fast asleep. Petals of summer blossoms float
on the surface of the water. This picture gives
full play to Alma-Tadema's skill in the painting
of rich- veined marble and bronze, for the bath
is lined with bronze.
In " Autumn " we find portrayed all the
adjuncts to a thanksgiving for the year's
vintage, headed by the vine-leaved, bearded
Silenus. A garlanded Bacchante whirls in the
dance around the sacrificial altar, with torch
and wine-cup in her hands. A study full of
warmth and movement and the joy of living.
The fourth and last " Season " introduces us
to a winter of poverty but not of squalor. A
poor family are sheltering and discussing a
frugal meal beneath the shadow of a tall
column, and the young mother and child are
interesting studies in what is in some respects
the most interesting of this quartet of
These pictures were commenced in Rome.
Apart from the attention which they attracted
when exhibited, they have become familiar to
a very large public, thanks to the excellence
of Blan chard's engravings of them.
About this time, too, " The Parting Kiss "
came from Alma-Tadema's brush. It is a
favourite child of his, this canvas, and still
more so is another version entitled " The
Departure," in which the delightful Pompeian
mother and daughter are the artist's own
wife and his daughter Anna, and the bust
THE PARTING KISS.
By Permission of Messrs. L. H. Lefeure & Son,
the Owners of the Copyright.
"THE QUESTION." 67
of the father looking down upon them is that
of Alma-Tadema himself. Since his marriage to
Miss Epps he had frequently reproduced her
wonderful red-gold hair in his pictures, and it
was often remarked that his types of fair
womanhood became more and more English
in form and in colouring as the years slipped
by. This particular painting became the
property of Georg Ebers, the cherished friend
of all three figures therein delineated, and very
prettily does Ebers remark that " paintings
are like children.* '
Further mention of Ebers recalls the cir-
cumstance that his friend's tiniest picture,
"The Question " (1878), inspired him with the
idea for a novel. The subject seems simplicity
itself — a youth putting a question — the question ,
we will venture to presume — to a young girl
who sits by the sapphire sea with her lap full
of roses. Shown at the Exhibition in Munich
in 1879, this dainty little picture proved itself
possessed of power to attract over and above
all its competitors. Ebers first based upon it
a poem, of which the following translation
from the German is by Miss Mary Safford, of
America : —
" In the Art-palace on green Isar's strand
Before one picture long I kept my seat ;
It held me spellbound by some magic band,
Nor, when my home I sought, could I forget.
" A year elapsed ; came winter's frost and snow ;
'Twas rarely now we saw the bright sunshine.
I plucked up courage and cried, ' Be it so ! '
Then southward wandered with those I call mine.
" Like birds of passage built we there a nest
On a palm-shaded shore all steeped in light ;
Life was a holiday, enjoyed with zest
And grateful hearts the while it winged its flight.
" Oft on the sea's wide, purplish blue expanse,
With ever new delight I fixed my eyes ;
Tadema's picture, now at every glance
Recalled to mind, a thousand times would rise.
"Once a day dawned, glad as a bride's fair face.
Perfume and light and joy it did enfold ;
Then, without search, flitted from out of space
Words for the tale that my friend's picture told."
From this poem, then, grew Ebers'' idyl,
" A Question," a tale of Sicilian life. The
" question " of its title is : Shall the lovely
Xanthe marry her childhood's playfellow Phaon,
or shall she take Leonax of Messina ? The old
housekeeper Semestre favours the latter, and
Xanthe wavers because she is told that Phaon
has spent his nights rioting with flute-women.
She finds him sleeping on a bench in the
garden, sits by him till he wakes, and tearfully
reproaches him with his wantonness. But on
discovering that Phaon' s sleepless nights have
been spent in her father's olive-groves, in order
that he might protect them from thieves, she
at once relents, and the happy pair are be-
In 1879 (the year in which the full honours
Q * •
o s -
HI ^ O
(f) * -
LU I «
"A ROMAN EMPEROR, A.D. 41." 69
of our Royal Academy of Arts were awarded
him), Alma-Tadema produced four very varied
canvases in " Down to the River/' " Not at
Home," " The Garden Altar," and " The Temple
of Ceres," in addition to " Well-protected
Slumber." In " Not at Home " a Roman girl
is telling a polite " fib " to a caller, a Roman
gentleman, who, half-suspecting, gazes in as
if longing to catch a glimpse of the lady for
whom he is obviously enquiring.
In the ensuing year appeared his truly
sensational " Ave, Caesar ! 16 Saturnalia ! " this
being the third occasion when he had striven
to depict the (to him) most appealing tragedy
of Caligula and Claudius. He had previously
essayed it, the reader will recall, in " Claudius "
and " A Roman Emperor, a.d. 41," both
painted for Gambart. In speaking to me of this
third and last Claudius picture, Alma-Tadema
mentioned how deeply and completely he had
saturated himself with every aspect of the
fascinating subject. He added that it had
always appeared to him that this election of
an Emperor by the army in opposition to the
Senate — in utter contradistinction to all that
had gone before — actively foreshadowed the
ultimate downfall of Rome. Like his two
former variants of it, this picture is all
blood, mosaics, armed men, cold glittering
steel and gleaming marble, forming a grim
and appalling ensemble. But the touch of
humour is still not wanting !
As if for the sake of contrast pure and
simple, he immediately followed up " Ave,
Caesar ! " with " Sappho " (1881), a pure and
beautiful idyl, inspired by those lines telling
of the love of the poet of Mitylene for the
female Homer :
" Surely thou know'st how, in the Lesbian land,
Alcaeus oft the festal dances led.
Kindled by Sappho's charms, fierce glowed love's brand,
As, lauding her in song, the lute he played."
The conception is a noble and striking one,
thoughtfully and beautifully reasoned in every
detail, whilst the pictured scene, the " Lesbian
strand/' is almost exactly expressed in the
lines just quoted. It was exhibited at Burling-
ton House, where it was the great picture of
The clever remark of a tiny child is recorded
d ftropos of the master's " Sappho."
" I feel when I look at that picture," said
the mite, " I should like to wear clothes like
that — I am so hot in these ! "
Could there be a happier compliment paid
to at least one phase of the artist's expressed
intention ? " Sappho " makes for the glory of
cool-looking, cool-tinted robes, worn by the
side of " quiet sands and seas." It is in the
full sense of a sweet environment such as this
one may have been that the genius of Lawrence
Alma-Tadema shines out most supreme.
By Permission of Messrs. L. H. Lefeure & Son,
the Owners of the Copyright.
HIS COLLECTED WORKS IN LONDON — PICTURES
OF THE 'EIGHTIES.
THAT which falls to the lot of every success-
ful modern painter — the public exhibition
of his collected works — became inevitable in the
case of Alma-Tadema very early in the 'eighties.
The chosen place was the Grosvenor Gallery
in London, where the collected pictures of
most of his great contemporaries have been
shown from time to time. The chosen year
was the winter season of 1882-83, and in the
majority of instances public galleries and private
purchasers co-operated loyally in striving to
make the collection as complete as possible.
That exquisitely grim little picture " Ave,
Caesar ! 16 Saturnalia ! " was there, and the
artist himself of course contributed " The
Death of the First-born." His first subject
from the Land of the Ptolemies, " Egyptians
Three Thousand Years Ago," painted in 1863,
was lent by Mr. J. Dewhurst. Still earlier
subjects, the famous " Education of the Children
of Clovis " and " Clotilde at the Tomb of her
Grandchildren," were sent by their respective
owners, the King of the Belgians and M. Jules
Verespeerewen, and were fittingly hung side
by side as belonging to the same epoch. That
remarkable picture, " The Juggler/' was there,
and so also was the artist's conception of
Cleopatra and, for the first time in London,
" After the Audience."
In all, some one hundred and fifty of his
pictures were gathered together at the Gros-
venor. The exhibition could not be entirety
complete, seeing that the prohibitive American
tariff prevented the inclusion of a number of
important paintings which had been sold in
that country ; but it was thoroughly represent-
ative of his art. Not the least interesting or
attractive exhibit was the portrait of the artist
painted by himself at the age of sixteen (in
1852), the dominant characteristics of which
are a vigour and an earnestness filled with the
promise of fulfilment. " The Question " was
also there. In a word, visitors to the gallery
had an opportunity of appraising both the
earliest and the latest works of the artist.
A scholarly critic of Blackwood's, writing
while Alma-Tadema's pictures were being ex-
hibited at the Grosvenor, instituted a compari-
son between the artist's Roman and Egyptian
forms — a comparison somewhat unfavourable
to the latter. This critic, if acclaiming " The
Death of the First-born" as one of the
greatest works of the age that produced it,
finds others of the master's subjects treating
of old Nilus of rather unequal merit. Thus,
he is unkind enough to suggest that " The
By Permission of Messrs. L. H. Lefeura & Son,
the Owners of the Copyright.
THE GROSVENOR EXHIBITION. 73
Juggler " is suggestive of a mummy, and that
in the case of " Cleopatra " the onlooker is
" not spellbound under her beauty, but with
cold curiosity counts up the details, admires
accessories, and stands wonderstruck at the
painter's cleverness and sleight of hand." In
the next paragraph it is admitted that Alma-
Tadema occupies a high place amongst the
few really great painters of Europe.
Far less original is this critic of Blackwood
when he makes the supreme discovery that,
" had the whole of Europe been searched, two
stronger opposites could not have been
discovered than Dante Rossetti and Alma-
Tadema." Has anybody ever questioned it ?
Surely there could be no conceivably greater
contrasts, in every way of art and life, than
the ill-starred, splendid Italian Rossetti and the
brilliant, optimistic Frieslander Alma-Tadema ?
Of the latter it is conceded that ''if he is not
precisely a poet, he has moments of poetic
thought when he combines the old sense of
line and form with the modern love of land-
In 1 88 1 the artist's output had included,
in addition to " Sappho," " Quiet Pets " (a
lady playing with tortoises), " An Audience "
(three Roman women in profile), " Pandora "
(a water-colour), " The Tepidarium," and a
Bacchante subject, "The Torch Dance" — an
exceptionally heavy year of work even for
him. In the following year came, in addition
to a very striking portrait of Herr Ludwig
Barnay as Marc Antony (" the Antony of
Shakespeare rather than of history "), "En
Repos," his second conception of " Cleopatra/'
" Reflection; , and " Young Affections." The
last-mentioned shows us a beautiful garden
scene with the figures of a woman and child,
all filled in with masses of delicate blossoms and
foliage. And mention of flowers reminds us that,
according to Ebers, Alma-Tadema was once
(1883) " fascinated for weeks by a large oleander
which he had taken with him from Brussels
to London, where for the first time it covered
itself with blossoms." He would not rest
satisfied until its rose-tinted glories had been
transferred to canvas, and the charming result
he simply entitles " Oleanders." A woman
dressed in blue and dark green is standing
under the shadow of the gorgeous tree, which
is backgrounded against a red wall, an additional
effect — one of the artist's very best and subtlest
— being imparted by the sun shining through
the leaves on water. The happy accident of
Alma-Tadema having brought these oleanders
from Belgium is to be held responsible, there-
fore, for one of the happiest of his fancies in
delineation and in treatment.
It was while the very gratifying and
eminently successful exhibition was in pro-
gress at the Grosvenor that Alma-Tadema
worked upon a picture to which he gave the
title " Shy." It is touched by a very delicate
W Jk ife
lil g o
PICTURES OF THE 'EIGHTIES. 75
humour, representing as it does a Grecian
youth presenting his offering of Alma-Tadema' s
favourite roses, through one of Alma-Tadema' s
favourite doorways, to his ladylove, who turns
her charming face away and is discreetly
" shy." This picture resides in America now,
having been painted for Mr. Theodore Miller.
Alma-Tadema's diploma picture for the Royal
Academy (1883) next demands a word. He
entitled it "On the Way to the Temple."
The foreground is filled by a priestess sitting
under the portico of a Greek temple. The
sun-rays shine fiercely down on the marble of
the building, through whose open doorway the
rejoicing Bacchanalians pass on their way to
do homage to the god of their worship.
" Hadrian Visiting a Pottery in Britain " is
also a successful work of Alma-Tadema. Its
composition and all details are indeed exquisite.
Did he not transfer the intimate life of the
ancient Britons to the modern theatre when
Irving staged Cymbeline ? And he has, of
course, always been an ardent admirer and
thorough connoisseur of antique vessels. In this
picture of the Emperor Hadrian, does Alma-
Tadema wish (inquires one critic) to show his
gratitude to the daughter of Dibutades the
potter, who, according to tradition, invented
his own art, painting ? This canvas was an
unusually large one, and it has since been cut
up into three portions. It was painted at the
suggestion of Mr. Minton. The best description
of the work that has come under my notice
is from the pen of Miss Helen Zimmern, who
reviewed it at considerable length shortly after
it was first publicly exhibited. Miss Zimmern
" The Academy picture of 1884 was the
celebrated ' Hadrian in England/ and is re-
markable for several reasons ; because it is
the first time that Tadema dealt with Roman
Britain, a period well-nigh absolutely neglected ;
and also because it is one of his largest works.
At the top of the picture stands the Emperor,
who with his followers is visiting a Romano-
British pottery, probably a famous one of the
period. The master-potter is showing his work,
and the Emperor looks on with a kind of resigned
determination that is excellently hit off. He
is going to ' do ' this thing, and though perhaps
in his heart he does not feel much interested
or capable of ' living up ' to these pots, he
will go through with his task to the bitter end.
His toga is of beautiful purple, his tunic crim-
son, the other garments quieter in tone. Be-
hind him stands his friend, Lucius Verus, one
of the best figures in the work. There is that
in the full coarse lips and eyes, in the indolent
pose as he leans lazily upon a staff, which tells
a whole history. He is a type not merely of
a luxurious Roman, but of a luxurious man.
To the Emperor's right stand Balbilla, a blue-
stocking of her time, and the Empress, the
latter talking with the potter's wife, whose
HADRIAN VISITING A POTTERY IN BRITAIN.
By Permission of the Artist.
PICTURES Or THE 'EIGHTIES. 77
blue gown contrasts admirably with the rich
reds. These are all grouped on a gallery, from
which a flight of steps descends to the bottom
of the picture. On it, his back towards us,
is a slave, who, tray in hands, bears vases for
inspection by the Emperor. He is followed
by another slave, and the two fill the lower
part of the picture. Beneath the arch of the
gallery is a room where the potters are at work,
small in scale ; but that to many persons is the
most interesting portion of the whole picture.
There is a charm about this workshop which is
wanting in the other groups and figures. The
corridor is adorned with a picture of Mercury,
and on the shelves in an alcove are seen speci-
mens of black and grey pottery of exquisite
form and colour. But one of the most effective
bits, one of those interesting little reproductions
of antique life in which Alma-Tadema is so
eminently happy, represents the altar of the
household god. A snake is painted round it,
and by a little lamp there is placed a votive
offering of onions, sacred to the Penates. The
potters have painted this inscription as a wel-
come to their Emperor :
" ' Ave, Imperator Caesar,
Divi Trajani Parth. filius,
Divi Nervae nepos,
Locupletator Orbis.' "
In 1884, too, Alma-Tadema made a great ad-
vance as a portrait painter. At the Grosvenor he
exhibited two interesting portrait studies, those
of Amendola, the Italian sculptor, who is limned
in his studio blouse working upon a silver
statuette of Lady (then Mrs.) Alma-Tadema,
and of Lowenstam, the etcher, also engaged
at his work. The light and shade of this
Lowenstam portrait are very noteworthy.
Alma-Tadema also painted a striking portrait of
his brother-in-law, Dr. Epps, who is shown —
also at his work — watch in hand, seated at the
bedside of a patient. This was followed, in
the next year, by a picture of " My Youngest
Daughter," wherein the artist father made a
most enchanting study of his artist daughter.
With the possible criticism that the details
are a little unduly elaborated, this picture will
always stand as one of Alma-Tadema' s most
successful examples in portraiture.
It is scarcely conceivable that Alma-Tadema
should have painted " A Reading from Homer "
in two months ! I allude to the time occupied
in the actual painting of this five-figure sub-
ject, since it is admitted that eight months
were employed in the studies for it, and in
work upon a picture which the master intended
to call " Plato/' but which he ultimately
abandoned. " A Reading from Homer " is
a large canvas. One is struck by the com-
pelling beauty of expression in the faces both
of the reader and his audience. Entranced and
spellbound, they recline listening to the musical
words of the bard, interpreted, we cannot
MISS ANNA ALMA-TAD EM A.
By Permission of the Berlin Photographic Co.
PICTURES OF THE 'EIGHTIES. 79
doubt, by a voice worthy of the occasion.
All the faces are transfigured as they listen
to that enchanting strain. The reader is
laurel-wreathed, the lady is not less suitably
daffodil-crowned. The numerous accessories
forming the setting to an idyllic theme are
none the less effective because inevitable in
this particular environment. It might not un-
fittingly be regarded as a kind of companion
painting to " Sappho."
It was hung in the Burlington House Exhi-
bition of 1885, making a great and well-deserved
sensation. In few subjects has the master sur-
passed the delicate and delicious flesh-tints of
this grand picture. The criticism that the
reader " holds the stage/' so to speak, is met
by the answering query — Who else should do
so if not the actual interpreter of the magic
A small but bewitching canvas, " The
Apodyterium," was the next outcome of his
ever-fruitful imagination. The word means
the tiring-room of a ladies' bath in ancient
Rome. Every inch of the canvas is utilised
to richest advantage, and loud were the
expressions of admiration heard from the many
who saw it in the Academy of that year.
The subject whereby he was represented
in 1887, one of his most daring creations, was
entitled " The Women of Amphissa." It brings
to life the market-place of the ancient town,
with a troupe of wandering Bacchantes lying
about in every imaginable attitude of exhaustion
and languor. If this is a bold conception, what
shall be said of the marvellous colouring of
his picture of the following year, " The Roses
of Heliogabalus " ? This veritable fascination
of colour-form finds itself in the rain of roses
with which the guests of Heliogabalus are being
pelted and covered. As Monkhouse happily
phrased it, " His real progress was in freedom
of draughtsmanship, in perception of beauty,
in subtlety and exquisiteness of colour, in
directness of pictorial intention, in gaiety of
spirit. He teaches less, but he pleases more.
May I add in a whisper that he gets more
modern as he gets more human, using art only
as a drapery for nature and the past as a
cloak for the present." In him the artist
had become the master of the archaeologist.
" The Women of Amphissa " contains no
fewer than forty figures. It was one of the
only two subjects of Alma-Tadema that were
sent to the Paris Exhibition of 1889, the other
being his charming " Expectations/' He was
again awarded the Gold Medal, as he had been
eleven years previously.
Amphissa was a city near Mount Parnassus,
and the legend refers to the year B.C. 350.
When the despots of Phocis seized upon Delphi,
and the Thebans " made that war called the
Holy upon them, it chanced that the women
sacred to Dionysus (who were named Thyades),
going mad with passion and wandering by
PICTURES OF THE 'EIGHTIES. 81
night, came unawares to Amphissa, where,
being weary and not yet returned in their
right wits, they threw themselves down in the
market-place, and, scattered here and there,
lay sleeping. Whereupon the wives of the
Amphissians, fearing (since the city of Phocis
was allied to them, and many of the tyrant
soldiers were about) lest the Thyades should
not preserve their purity, ran all together to
the market-place, and silently stood in a circle
round them ; nor indeed, approached them
while they slept, but as soon as they had risen
tended them and brought them food, and after-
wards went forth with them in safety, even
to the boundaries of their own land."
To the Academy of 1889 he contributed
" The Shrine of Venus." This " shrine " is the
interior of a Roman hair-dresser's emporium,
whither have wandered two beautiful young
girls to be suitably coiffured. So much ab-
sorbed are they that they barely take note of
a tall, handsome matron, who, in passing
towards the inner room, places her offering be-
fore the shrine of Venus. As she sweeps past the
matron adds a marigold to the heap of varie-
gated blossoms on a marble table in front of
the shrine. At the counter- window some atten-
dants, very skilfully drawn, are seen attending
to other customers, and the glimpse of blue
sky and the blue vase so skilfully set most
happily combine with the view of distant
SOME OF HIS CRITICS.
IT was by no means immediately or universally
admitted that Alma-Tadema had served an
altogether admirable purpose by bringing a
new note into British art. The new note had
to be admitted ; for there it was, dominant,
resourceful, unimitative but not unimaginative,
wholly original but not wholly unchallenged.
The most important of the artist's critics —
if by " important " is meant a certain place
in the literary firmament — were Ruskin,
Whistler, Professor Ebers, and Cosmo Monk-
house. Every one of these has passed away, but
their words live after them. We have already
seen what Ruskin wrote of " The Sculpture
Gallery," and we will presently see what was
the result of a longer and presumably closer
scrutiny of the paintings on his part. For
Mr. Whistler, the artist-critic's onslaught upon
Alma-Tadema' s work is too ill-reasoned to call
for serious comment here, though in another
place he speaks of Alma-Tadema' s " sympho-
nies " and " harmonies " of colour. For Ebers,
we have previously noted that his comments
were liable to be biassed, and his freedom of
judgment blinded, by a too great and absorbing
THE CRITICS. 83
enthusiasm — an adoring veneration, so to speak
— for Alma-Tadema as an artist. For the late
Cosmo Monkhouse, both in his fugitive writings
and in the Alma-Tadema section of his in-
forming work, " Contemporary British Artists/'
he displays a sound knowledge and apprecia-
tion tempered throughout by soundest and
But Ruskin was prejudiced, and he took
no trouble to conceal his prejudice. Thus
much must be admitted, whatever value we
place upon his criticisms. In 1884 he returned
to the charge, in the course of his Oxford
lectures during his second tenure of the Slade
Scholarship. Then and there he said :
" M. Alma-Tadema differs from all the
artists I have ever known, except John Lewis,
in the gradual increase of technical accuracy,
which attends and enhances together the ex-
panding range of his dramatic invention ; while
every year he displays more varied and com-
plex powers of minute draughtsmanship, more
especially in architectural detail, wherein, some-
what priding myself as a specialty, I never-
theless receive continual lessons from him ;
except only in this one point — that, with me,
the translucency and glow of marble is the
principal character of its substance, while with
M. Tadema it is chiefly the superficial lustre
and veining which seem to attract him ; and
these also seen, not in the strength of southern
sun, but in the cool twilight of luxurious
chambers. With which insufficient — not to say
degrading — choice of architectural colour and
shade, there is a fallacy in his classic idealism
against which, while I respectfully acknow-
ledge his scholarship and his earnestness, it is
necessary that you should be gravely and con-
clusively warned. . . .
" Now observe, that whether of Greek or
Roman life, M. Alma-Tadema's pictures are
always in twilight. ... I don't know if you
saw the collection of them last year at the
Grosvenor, but with that universal twilight
there was also universal crouching or lolling
posture, either in fear or laziness. And the
most gloomy, the most crouching, the most
dastardly of all these representations of classic
life was the little picture called the ( Pyrrhic
Dance/ of which the general effect was exactly
like a microscopic view of a small detachment
of blackbeetles in search of a dead rat. . . .
Since the day of the opening of the great
Manchester Exhibition in 185 1, every English-
man desiring to express interest in the arts
considers it his duty to assert with Keats that
a thing of beauty is a joy for ever. I do not
know in what sense the saying was understood
by the Manchester school. A beautiful thing
may exist but for a moment as a reality ; it
exists for ever as a testimony."
Side by side with Ruskin's harsh judgment
we will place a German estimate. According to
the author of "Modern Painting," Alma-Tadema
THE CRITICS. 85
" stands to this grave academic group
[Leighton, Poynter, Val Prinsep] as Gerome
to Couture. As Bulwer Lytton in the field of
literature created a picture of ancient civilisation
so successful that it has not been surpassed
by his followers, Alma-Tadema has solved the
problem of the picture of antique manners in
the most authentic fashion in the province of
painting. He has peopled the past, rebuilt its
towns, and refurnished its houses, rekindled the
flame upon its sacrificial altars, and awakened
the echo of the dithyrambs to new life. Poynter
tells old fables, while Alma-Tadema takes us
in his company, and, like the best informed
cicerone, leads us through the streets of old
Athens, reconstructing the temples, altars, and
dwellings, the shops of the butchers, bakers,
and fishmongers, just as they once were. . . .
By his works a remarkable problem is solved ;
an intense feeling for modern reality has called
the ancient world into being in a credible
fashion, whilst it has remained barricaded
against all others who have approached it by
the road of idealism. It is only in his method
of execution that he still stands upon the same
ground as Gerome, with whom he shares a
taste for anecdote and a pedantic, neat, and
correct style of painting.' '
So that, according to Ruskin, Alma-
Tadema' s conceptions are of a " dastardly "
character, and a not over-friendly critic from
the Continent finds that his style is " pedantic,
neat, correct/ ' Is not fidelity the word for
which this writer is striving ? Poor Alma-
Tadema was positively accused of " pedantry "
because he elected to paint true instead of fancy
pictures of old Greece and Rome ! It may be
refreshing to turn to what Mr. Monkhouse had
to say :
" While he belongs intellectually to the
general movement of his time and to no par-
ticular nation, his purely artistic impulses and
technical proclivities are clearly derived from
his own Dutch ancestors. That decided pre-
ference for interiors and courtyards, with their
subtle and complicated effects of reflected
light ; that wonderful skill in the representa-
tion of all kinds of substance and texture,
that delight in beautiful colour modified and
graduated infinitely by different intensities of
illumination, that love of finish and detail ; in
all these predilections Alma-Tadema shows his
nationality. Instead of Holland, he gives you
Italy ; instead of bricked alleys, marble courts ;
but in his blood is the spirit of Terborch and
Metzu and De Hoogh."
This utterance is distinctly of interest, as
implying Mr. Monkhouse's firm conviction that
Alma-Tadema did not merely break away from
his own convention when he started his classical
work, but that this profound classicism found
birth in that Dutch setting.
And yet, after all, what is truth ? On the
one hand, we have the singularly cheap criticism
THE CRITICS. 87
of Ruskin that Alma-Tadema's stone is good,
his silver less good, his gold bad, and his flesh
worst. On the other hand, we have the opinion
of the late Cosmo Monkhouse upon the " Pyrrhic
Dance " — the painting that was bludgeoned so
unmercifully by the sage of Coniston — that it
stands out distinctly " by reason of its striking
silhouette and impressive attitudes of the
soldiers engaged in this famous war-dance.
The action of the men, studied no doubt care-
fully from some ancient relief or bronze paint-
ing, * is admirably rendered. It is stealthy,
alert, and formidable." The same scholarly critic
points out that no other artist has made such
free use of flowers to brighten his compositions.
He opines, however, that in later life Alma-
Tadema has permitted himself some " liberty
of anachronism " in this regard by introducing
the most recent varieties of clematis and of
azalea into his Greek and Roman flower-beds.
But what would you have ? The flower sense
is with Alma-Tadema a mania, and over and
over again the beautiful blooms of his own
conservatory have solved for him a picture-
All his life long Alma-Tadema has known
what he wants and what he can effect in the
mastery of his art. His combination of rare
skill with rarer judgment has ever served him
* Alma-Tadema's comment on this is, " No ; only from a
single figure on a Greek vase. The leading girl in the original,
not fitting in, was omitted."
in good stead. And with these fine qualities
are allied his altogether surpassing excellence
as colourist and as draughtsman, frequently
rising to such heights as actually to defy
criticism. As Monkhouse finely says, he be-
longs intellectually to the general movement of
his time and to no particular nation. And it
is of more than passing interest to print side
by side a notable utterance by Alma-Tadema
and another by Lord Leighton. Thus the
" Art is imagination, and those who love
Art love it because in looking at a picture it
awakens their imagination and sets them
thinking ; and that is also why Art heightens
the mind. ,,
" The enemy/' said Leighton, " is this in-
difference in the presence of the ugly ; it is
only by the victory over this apathy that you
can rise to better things ; it is only by the
rooting-out and extermination of what is ugly
that you can bring about conditions in which
beauty shall be a power among you."
By no means the least interesting or most
unimportant of Alma-Tadema' s critics have
been a trio of accomplished ladies, in Mrs.
Edmund Gosse, Mrs. Alice Meynell, and Miss
Helen Zimmern. Mrs. Gosse, the wife of the
well-known and brilliant man of letters, writes
gracefully and well ; I have already noted
her able and picturesque estimate of our artist's
" A Roman Emperor." Miss Zimmern, whose
THE CRITICS. ' 89
writings on art topics have attained con-
siderable dimensions, has been aided perhaps
more by a fluent pen and an apt and attractive
manner of jotting down her impressions than
by a very discriminating estimation of the
artist's work as a whole. Her style is good,
but her impression uncertain. Mrs. Meynell has
acted as the art critic of a great daily paper,
and was in every way well qualified to speak.
Finally, Lady Colin Campbell has from time
to time, in the course of her w r ork as critic,
had occasion to write of the pictures of Alma-
Tadema at public exhibitions. Lady Camp-
bell wields a fluent and graceful pen, and her
judgment and appreciations on art subjects
are always well worth listening to.
Whatever may have been the unanimity or
otherwise of his British critics, the fact remains
that England has been the country par excel-
lence for the exploitation and the recognition
of Alma-Tadema's great gifts. In wealthy
Holland, with all its wonderful traditions of
art, even after he had reached the pinnacle of
fame, " neither the King, the Government, nor
any art institute in his native land gave him
the smallest Order, nor was any attempt made
to obtain one of his masterpieces."* In Great
Britain and America, in France, Germany, and
Belgium, on the other hand, we have seen how
different was the reception, how universal the
Yet in Holland, between 1856 and 1880,
Alma-Tadema's brush did not earn more than
a thousand florins ! though a picture which he
sold in 1867 for six hundred florins was sold
again for thirteen thousand. It is betraying
no secret of the prison-house to state that,
although Alma-Tadema has earned large sums,
he has never earned the largest. In no single
year has he received £10,000, and only twice
has he been paid £5,000 for a picture.
HIS WORK FOR THE THEATRE.
THERE is one immensely interesting phase
or aspect of Alma-Tadema's work which I
have not so far treated — his work for the stage.
He has from time to time designed the scenes
and the costumes in connection with the
classical productions of three distinguished actor-
managers — Sir Henry Irving, Mr. Beerbohm
Tree, and Mr. F. R. Benson. This work has
been done, of course, almost entirely for the
Shakespearian revivals of the three eminent
actors named ; and here the master's intimate
acquaintance with the art of old Rome and
old Greece has invested with a peculiar dignity
and charm some of the most memorable and
most beautiful theatrical productions of our
His designs for Sir Henry Irving were con-
fined to two plays, Coriolanus and Cymbeline.
The former were executed by Alma-Tadema
twenty years before they were utilised. They
were carried out by the most notable scenic
artists of the day, and, in the case of one of
them, had the advantage of supervision by Mr.
Comyns Carr, at that time managing director
and adviser to the Lyceum Limited. I thought
it well, however, to ask Sir Henry Irving him-
self for an expression of opinion upon Alma-
Tadema' s work for the Lyceum, and from him
I received the following response :
" Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema did all the
designs for Cy nib dine and for Coriolanus when
I produced those plays at the Lyceum. They
were, one and all, exquisite works of the highest
art, full of imagination, poetry, and learning,
and they must all live. In every case they
were accurate lessons in archaeology, and in
Cymbeline he dealt with a period almost ' new '
in art — the carved and ornamented wood,
stone, and metal work of the early Britons.
No praise could, to my mind, be too great for
Sir Lawrence's work for the stage."
How characteristic of Irving, this generous
letter ! So honourable to the artist who penned
it, so flattering to the artist who inspired it.
It was followed by a communication from
Miss Ellen Terry — the graceful Imogen and
Volumnia of these two Shakespearian dramas —
to whom I had written concerning the dresses
designed for her by Alma-Tadema. Miss
Terry wrote : " The costumes were very beau-
tiful, but I can give you no adequate idea of
the colours — the colour could only be expressed
by Sir Lawrence himself ! He contrived to
make me look like a young girl, which was a
wizard's work, for it is not so very long ago
since I played Imogen." But time has in any
case dealt lightly with the ever-delightful Ellen
WORK FOR THE THEATRE, 93
Terry. (It may be noted here, as a matter of
interest, that in her own opinion the most
exquisite of all the creations worn by Miss
Terry throughout her long association with the
Lyceum Theatre was one of her gowns in
Mr. Calmour's poetical play, The Amber Heart.)
With Mr. Beerbohm Tree, Alma-Tadema has
also assisted in the scenic production of two
important plays, and on this point Mr. Tree
writes as follows :
" The first production in which I had the
advantage of Sir L. Alma-Tadema' s hand and
eye and brain was Hypatia y which I did at
the Haymarket. It owed much of its success
to his sympathetic help. Notably beautiful was
the scene in which Hypatia addressed the school .
which was like a painting by Tadema himself.
Miss Neilson, you will remember, played
Hypatia. Then, at His Majesty's, Alma-
Tadema did Julius Ccesar, and brought ancient
Rome on to the stage, with what grand effect
I need not remind you. Here his powerful
personality made itself felt, not only in the
scenery and the costumes (which often he
himself would drape), but in the very atmo-
sphere of the play. Is there not in himself
much of ' the noble Roman ' ? It was, indeed,
always a joy when he appeared on the stage
to dominate the scene. It was he who taught
us the Roman handshake, the mutual grip of
the wrist. . . . The presence of a man is always
Commenting upon this graceful and handsome
acknowledgment from Tree, Alma-Tadema told
me that Sunday after Sunday, during the heavy
rehearsals for Julius Cczsar, Mr. Tree attended
at the artist's house the better to wrestle
with the difficulties of the Roman garments.
The toga especially interested and baffled the
actor, who did not find that Dickens had
spoken entirely by the card in describing the
" toga-like simplicity " said to be so eminently
characteristic of one of his immortal creations.
Mr. F. R. Benson has also, to a less elaborate
degree, enjoyed Alma-Tadema' s co-operation.
" Years ago, when I produced the Agamemnon
at Oxford," writes Mr. Benson, " Sir L. Alma-
Tadema gave me invaluable hints and advice
as to Greek draperies and costumes, folds, etc.
I have a lively and grateful recollection of the
skill with which he arranged draperies and
folds, and of the simple beauty of the results,
and I was much impressed by the infinite
patience and labour whereby they were
achieved. I also have in my possession some
very beautiful scenery designed by him for
the Oxford production of Julius Ccesar, and
into this design he has harmoniously blended
the same richness of detail and character as
he so successfully puts into his Academy pic-
tures. I have most pleasant recollections of the
kindliness of the man and the wonderful skill
of the artist"
The production by Irving of Coriolanus in
In the possession of Sir Samuel Montagu, Bart.
WORK FOR THE THEATRE. 95
1901, for which, as just noted, Alma-Tadema
supplied ten designs for scenes and costumes,
turned out to be an artistic but not a financial
success. It was found that this play, while
not destitute of fine moments, is lacking in the
sustained interest essential for stage purposes,
and also lacks even the comparatively slight
feminine interest of, say, Julius Ccesar. In this
connection there is an old but good story of
a stage hand employed at the Lyceum, who
was reading an announcement of the play
wherein the following passage appeared :
" Coriolanus — Sir Henry Irving.
" Incidental music by Sir A. C. Mackenzie.
" Scenes designed by Sir L. Alma-Tadema.' '
ff Humph ! " remarked the stage hand
thoughtfully, as he turned away with a slightly
disgusted air. " Three blooming knights — and
that's about as long as it will run ! "
As originally set forth by Shakespeare,
Coriolanus was conceived in five acts and no
fewer than twenty- two scenes. For the pur-
poses of Irving's Lyceum revival of 1901,
however, it was condensed into three acts and
ten scenes. (The period here assigned is 494-
490 B.C.) Two of these scenes were in the
camps of the forest, two street scenes in Rome,
the Forum, the interior of the Senate — this
being a particularly telling scene as designed
by Alma-Tadema and staged by Irving — the
interior of Coriolanus' house, and three scenes
in Antium — viz. outside the house of Tullus
Aufidius, the entrance-hall of the same, and
the Forum. I have before mentioned that the
designs were furnished by Alma-Tadema at
Irving' s request many years before the actual
production took place.
They evoked from one enthusiastic critic the
dictum that " If Sir Lawrence had not elected
in his younger days to become a painter, he
might have taken a remarkable position as an
architect. His interpretation, based on the
most profound archaeological research, of the
variety of design in Etruscan architecture,
comes to us virtually as a revelation, and we
still keep well within the mark when we assert
that no piece has ever been represented on the
stage which approaches in its architectural
illustration that which has been set forth in
the scenery of Coriolanus. For the moment,
however, we are inclined to press his claim
to be a great designer of scenes in that he has
been able, with the ephemeral materials of
canvas and strips of wood, to produce the
illusion of solid architectural forms. This, we
imagine, is mainly due to the fact that, when
undertaking his task twenty years ago, he com-
menced by making a small model of the pro-
scenium and stage of the Lyceum, measuring
about two feet wide by twenty-two inches
high, designing first a proscenium of his own
which unfortunately was partially hidden in
the theatre."* In this model he designed all
* A rchitectural Review.
WORK FOR THE THEATRE. 97
his scenes to scale, making a series of water-
His designs for the Forum in Rome, and
for the less elaborate Forum at Antium, were
among the most effective of the stage pictures.
But perhaps his most brilliant successes of the
whole series were his models for the interiors
of houses. This is especially true of the interior
of the Senate House. The keynote of this
fine scene was its simplicity, and the fact that
virtually only three colours were employed, in
the red and white robes of the Senators and
the warm-tinted yellow of the stone piers,
seats, and architraves. Before finally quitting
this subject of the staging of Coriolanus, men-
tion must be made of three other impressive
scenes — the interiors of the homes of Coriolanus
and of Aufidius, and the splendid moonlight
view of Antium, showing the house of Aufidius,
Unhappily, however, this scene was of far too
short duration in the play, while also the
" moonlight " was so brilliant as to do less
than justice to the beauty of the master's
The original model and designs for Coriolanus
were lent by Alma-Tadema to the Scenic
Artists' Exhibition, held in London in 1905.
PICTURES OF THE 'NINETIES.
" ^V^OU do not know how difficult it is to paint
1 pictures," remarked Alma-Tadema, with
a pathetic intonation, to a friend. This was
uttered in reference to the difficulty he ex-
perienced — a difficulty, indeed, by no means
unusual with him — in bringing to a fitting
completion his second study from the life of
Cleopatra. He " finished " this picture no
fewer than four or five times, and was more
and more dissatisfied. He painted as many
as four or five different backgrounds to it
before hitting upon one which partially satis-
fied him. (The subject is the noble one of
Antony abandoning his fleet to join the Empress
as she reclines in her flower-decked galley.)
Yet he had planned this picture in a manner
that should seem to admit of no alteration,
no dissatisfaction. His calculations, his dimen-
sions, are unerring. " How do I manage to
hit the right height of that figure seated in
the chariot on the hill ? " said he to Cosmo
Monkhouse when speaking of another painting.
" It is because I know that the road there
O a ■
PICTURES OF THE 'NINETIES. 99
is exactly thirty feet below the level of the
mosaic pavement of the hall in the foreground."
Pictures came thick and fast from his brush
in the early 'nineties. To 1889 belong " Silent
Greeting " (now in the Tate Gallery) and " A
Dedication to Bacchus." Of the latter subject
Alma-Tadema painted a large and a small study,
the larger one being the property of Baron
Schroeder and the smaller having been sold
at Christie's for a large sum in 1903. In
1890 came the " Frigidarium " (painted for
Sir Max Waechter), " Love in Idleness/' and
" An Earthly Paradise." In 1891 that delight-
ful picture " A Kiss " — a lady stooping to
kiss a little child, in a background of sea and
sky — was also painted for Sir M. Waechter.
The same year witnessed the artist's striking
portrait of Paderewski. These varied sub-
jects were rapidly followed by " Courtship "
and " Comparisons " (1892), " A Corner of My
Studio " (1893) (painted for the late Lord
Leighton, and now in the Wantage collection),
"The Benediction," "Spring," and "At the
Close of a Joyful Day " (the latter for the
Royal Academy of 1894), " Love's Jewelled
Fetter " and " Fortune's Favourite " (1895),
and " Whispering Noon " in 1896.
" Spring " is in every way a truly delicious
inspiration. It is a large, long picture, and a
great impression of length — or rather depth —
is at once obtained from the animated figures
flinging flowers from the walls of old Rome
on to the moving procession below. It is a
May festival in Rome. The picture itself is a
paean of gladness. And the colouring ! It in-
toxicates the senses, charms and satisfies the
eye in every moment. What I may style the
" notation " is so exact — there is no note that
is wrong or false, and the whole conveys an
impression of consummate ease on the part
of the master who limned it. That such is not
the case we know, Alma-Tadema being his own
most critical and disdainful critic. One could
imagine him spending long, sleepless nights in
wrestling with the problem of the moment,
the picture that obstinately refuses to
" come right.' ' This " Spring," for example,
is the result of innumerable alterations, era-
sures, seemingly reckless scrapings down of
canvas. And yet it comes out, in the fulness
of time, a finished thing of great beauty and
exquisite fineness. But we know that this
desired end has not been attained without
infinite labour and the loving care of a mother
for her offspring. The artist might well have
said with Swinburne :
" For the end is hard to reach."
" The Coliseum " was exhibited in the
Academy of 1896, and to the announcement
of it in the catalogue were appended these
well-known lines from Byron's Don Juan :
" And here the buzz of eager nations ran
In murmur'd pity or loud-roared applause
O J |
1- g |
O S »
LU £ |
< 5 I
PICTURES OF THE 'NINETIES. 101
As man was slaughtered by his fellow-man.
And wherefore slaughtered ? Wherefore, but because
Such were the bloody circus' genial laws,
And the Imperial pleasure. Wherefore not ? "
And it was of this painting that the critic
of the Athenceum wrote at the time : "It
would be difficult to do justice to the breadth,
brilliance, and homogeneity — in spite of its
innumerable details — of this splendid picture.
The painting of the minutest ornaments, the
folds of the ladies' garments, even the huge
festoons . . . and the delicate sculptor's work
of the vases and mouldings on the balcony,
are equally noteworthy. Even more to be
admired are the faces, of which that of the
maiden in blue is undoubtedly the sweetest
and freshest of all Mr. Alma-Tadema's im-
aginings." Her companion — the more stately
lady, the mother of the child — who wears a
diadem of silver in her black hair, illustrates
a pure Greek type of which the painter has
given us several examples, but none so fine
as this one, which is very skilfully relieved
against the peacock fan of gorgeous colours
which she holds in her hand to hide her features
from the crowd below. It is easy to imagine
that in her noble spirit some thought of the
victims of the amphitheatre arose, which ex-
plains the painter's intention in choosing the
motto, " The Coliseum."
The Tsar of Russia, a great admirer of
British art (and owner of one of the choicest
specimens of Sir Joshua Reynolds), became the
possessor of Alma-Tadema's " Roses, Love's
Delight/ ' It is simple, and it is simply charm-
ing. A laughing girl, the daughter of the
house, is burying herself in roses brought in
as remnants from the garlands made for the
decoration of the house, which is seen in
Especially in view of the fact that he is
British only by adoption, Alma-Tadema must
be said to have hit upon some splendidly
a propos titles for many of his pictures. What
could be more happily effective, for example,
than this " Roses, Love's Delight " quotation
from the Anacreon ? Then we have, for the title
of the delicious painting owned by Sir Ernest
Cassel, " Under the Roof of Blue Ionian
Weather " (Shelley). Again, for one of the
artist's choicest effects (a work which is the
property of Mr. Alfred de Rothschild) have
been taken two of Browning's expressive lines
from " Pippa Passes " :
" The year's at the spring,
* * * *
f All's right with the world."
Another picture most fittingly christened
is " The Roses of Heliogabalus " ; here the
subject is an historical one, but the painter
has touched a right chord, and has given it a
simple and charming name. To go further
back in the development of Alma-Tadema's art,
A SILENT GREETING.
In the National Gallery of British Art.
By Permission of Messrs. Gooden & Fox,
Owners of the Copyright.
PICTURES OF THE 'NINETIES. 103
he touches a note of grim realism in the sub-
title to " The Education of the Children of
Clovis " — " The School for Vengeance." But
one might go on for ever multiplying instances,
of which the " Ave, Caesar ! 16 Saturnalia ! "
is a peculiarly striking one.
THE KNIGHTHOOD AND ITS CELEBRATION.
THE list of honours in celebration of her
Majesty Queen Victoria's eightieth birth-
day (1899) conveyed the popular intelligence
that her Majesty the Queen had been pleased to
confer the honour of knighthood upon Mr. L.
Alma-Tadema, R.A. While, of course, it would
be absurd to say that the artist was not im-
mensely gratified by this mark of distinction
from the Sovereign, it must at the same time be
intimated that every one of his fellow-Acade-
micians, not to speak of the general public,
equally applauded the honour bestowed upon
the celebrated Dutchman who yet seemed to
be so much more English than Dutch.
It was very generally considered that some
more than ordinary step should be taken in cele-
bration of this high honour. For Alma-Tadema
was only the third artist of his race to be
honoured by a British sovereign in this fashion,
his two predecessors in the knighthood having
been Rubens and Vandyck, who were both so
rewarded by Charles I. But although to ill-
fated Charles Stuart belongs the credit of having
also created the first artist-knight of British
THE YEAR'S AT THE SPRING,
ALL'S RIGHT WITH THE WORLD."
in the possession of Alfred de Rothschild, Esq. Reproduced by
Permission of the Artist.
birth — in the person of Sir R. Peake — it was
long ages before another Englishman was so
honoured. In the meantime, knighthoods or
baronetcies were awarded to three more Con-
tinental painters by English monarchs — Sir
Peter Lely by Charles II., Sir Godfrey Kneller
by William of Orange, and Sir Nicolas Dorigny
by George I. A sure passport to favour in
those days was to limn flatteringly the features
of our rulers ; and this without the slightest
disparagement to the great masters named
above. It may be added that the first artist-
knight preceded the first actor-knight by no
less than two and a half centuries.
The celebration of Sir Lawrence's accession
to his new dignity took the form of a banquet
at the Whitehall Rooms, London, on the evening
of November 4th, 1899. In the unfortunate
absence from England of the President of the
Royal Academy, Mr. Onslow Ford was called
upon to preside over a gathering that com-
prised a hundred and sixty of the most distin-
guished names adorning the roll not only of
Alma-Tadema's own art, but also of the allied
arts. Among the faces to be recognised round
the table were those of Frank Dicksee, B. W.
Leader, Colin Hunter, George Frampton, John
Sargent, Rudolf Lehmann, Baden - Powell,
Comyns Carr, George Henschel, Byam Shaw,
the Hon. John Collier, Sir George Lewis,
Sir Trevor Lawrence, Sir Henry Thompson,
Briton Riviere, Fuller Maitland, Walter Crane,
G. H. Boughton, Seymour Lucas, and Sir Francis
Apart from the graceful terms wherein
Mr. Onslow Ford greeted the guest, the principal
interest of this function very naturally centred
in Alma-Tadema' s own speech. He did not
disappoint his auditors. Mr. Onslow Ford had
aptly said, in dwelling momentarily upon the
fact that Alma-Tadema had produced the great
number of 273 pictures since he settled in
England, that " nationality in the world of art
counts for very little." Alma-Tadema crowned
this saying by avowing that in allying his own
art with that of England he himself had re-
ceived great benefit, inasmuch as he believed
that in the course of his researches in the
English school he had developed a greater re-
search for beauty. He said he was proud to
think that the English and Dutch were brothers
labouring in the same field, who by their
works and aims had always enormously in-
fluenced each other with but a single object
in view — and even, at one time, with a single
ruler, William III. of Orange. If the Dutch
had been the first great landscape painters
(whose influence on himself no less a man than
Titian had confessed), those painters had been
the pioneers of the great English school of
landscape painting. He remembered how, in
1870, he had sat next to Daubigny at the
table of Lord Leighton, and the French master
had said to him that without Old Crome,
THE KNIGHTHOOD CELEBRATION. 107
Turner, and Constable, the modern French
school of landscape painting could not have
existed. And he wittily added that if his
own countrymen had once fastened a broom
at their masthead to show how they had swept
the seas clear of their enemies, their English
brethren might do the same now !
Not the least pleasing incident of the cele-
bration was the example of a distinguished
Royal Academician, who, quitting his seat,
kissed Alma-Tadema's hand, and was in turn
embraced by him.
That many-sided man, Comyns Carr — art
critic, poet, playwright, editor, and theatre
director — had composed for this occasion a
kind of doggerel, entitled " The Car-men
Tadetnare" which had been set to music by
Mr. George Henschel. Mr. Henschel sang it,
to the vast entertainment of the audience, and
I here transcribe what may be termed its
refrain or chorus :
" Who knows him well he best can tell
That a stouter friend hath no man
Than this lusty knight who for our delight
Hath painted Greek and Roman.
Then here let every citizen
Who holds a brush or wields a pen
Drink deep as his Zuyder Zee
Of the Royal Acad
Of the Royal Acadamee."
On the day after this noteworthy festival
the press of the country honoured Alma-Tadema
with long and appreciative notices, several of
them marking the event by leading articles
of a wonderfully complimentary and unanimous
It is impossible to overlook the fact that
the artist's sunny geniality and lovable per-
sonality played an important part in the sin-
gularly complete character of this festival in his
honour. Indeed, it is scarcely an exaggeration
to state that there was no more popular dignity
conferred in the honours list of the year than
the knighting of Lawrence Alma-Tadema. The
right note was sounded in the following happy
little appreciation : " Alma-Tadema' s double
nationality, his Dutch birth, his long English
residence, coupled with his classic tastes, his
admiration for the Japanese, have contributed
to render his art a curious complex of con-
flicting tendencies — tendencies that in them-
selves are again welded into a harmonious
whole by the idiosyncrasy of the man. We
seem to feel, even through the medium of his
pictures, his kind-heartedness, his quick appre-
ciation of all that is good and beautiful, his
dislike of mystery, of vain searchings in dark
mental places, his love of sunshine, moral and
real. Others might paint his portraits as well,
but none can paint those exquisite southern
idyls of which such numbers have issued from
his brush and brain. He has been called the
painter of repose. I should rather be in-
THE KNIGHTHOOD CELEBRATION. iog
clined to style him the painter of gladness, of
the joy of life. The world has certainly been
rendered sunnier by his works."
Mr. Joseph Hatton tells how Alma-Tadema
once described to him the genesis of the legs
of a horse which figure in one of his Pompeian
subjects. " It was in this way/' he explained.
" Driving to Brompton in a hansom, a green-
grocer's cart came out of a street ahead, the
horse galloping. I could only see the back of
the cart and the lower part of the horse's legs.
I took note of it all the way. It turned off
into a street close to the house I was going
to. I jumped out and I said, ' Give me a
bit of paper.' I had a pencil. I put down
the result of my observations as fast as I could
— my friends thought I had gone a little mad
— and the horse's legs before you are those of
the animal in the greengrocer's cart ; but I
think I must work them out a little more."
On which Mr. Hatton' s humorous comment
is, " Fancy that London cart linking to-day
with the classic life of Pompeii ! "
" THE FINDING OF MOSES "—PORTRAITS AND
SIR LAWRENCE was a deeply interested
member of Sir John Aird's party for the
opening ceremony in connection with the work-
ing of that stupendous undertaking, the Nile
Dam, in 1902. Very naturally Alma-Tadema
found himself filled with a supreme delight at
witnessing the scenes that had inspired his brush
so many times, and not a moment of his brief
tour in Egypt was wasted. Sir John was pro-
foundly anxious to have an important painting
on an Egyptian subject from his brush, and
what the exact theme should be was the topic
of numerous conferences between them.
Finally, Alma-Tadema gave Sir John his choice
of three subjects, and without a great deal of
hesitation he selected the familiar one of " The
Finding of Moses/'
Shortly after returning to England (with
innumerable studies in his mind's eye), Alma-
Tadema commenced work upon this picture —
for him, an exceptionally large canvas. In fact,
so hard and continuously did he labour at it
that in the Academy of 1904 he was repre-
sented by only one canvas, this being the
"THE FINDING OF MOSES." in
dainty tone-poem entitled " The Ever-new
Horizon." It is a small canvas, and so wretch-
edly was it placed at Burlington House, be-
tween two huge life-size portraits that com-
pletely killed it, as to call forth complaint
from many visitors to the Academy. In this
connection it may be well to reproduce some
caustic remarks of Mr. M. H. Spielmann, penned
d propos of the Academy of 1901 :
"It is safe to say," wrote Mr. Spielmann,
" that not one in a hundred visitors to the
Royal Academy realises how much the pic-
tures exhibited there suffer from the conditions
of display. The artists know it ; they know
it only too well. With few exceptions they
have suffered from it for years, and still surfer
in silence, and, incomprehensibly enough, they
seem willing to go on suffering without any
attempt to effect the simple remedy. I refer
to what is proudly called ' the searching light
of the Academy ' — a very excellent thing when
Old Masters are shown in the winter exhibitions,
but a cruel and unnecessary ordeal to newly
painted pictures. In no other salon of
importance, it may be said, is the untempered
light allowed to fall upon the canvases ; a
velarium or a muslin screen is used to soften
the unmitigated brilliance of illumination that
otherwise imparts a crudity even to low- toned
pictures, and fatally accentuates the harshness
of a strongly painted work. . . . When we find
equal harm done to pictures so utterly dis-
similar in their qualities and values as M.
Benjamin-Constant's vigorous picture of Queen
Victoria, and the exquisite masterpiece of Sir
Lawrence Alma-Tadema, we can no longer
doubt the desirableness of the more judicious
method of exhibition."
To return to " The Finding of Moses," a
canvas on which Alma-Tadema wrought for
many months with limitless patience, loving
care, and matchless skill. It is so essentially a
new rendering of an old theme that it would
perhaps more exactly be called " An Episode
of the Finding of Moses." The child is being
borne along by careful arms, while Pharaoh's
daughter, leaning down from the palanquin in
which she is carried by her servants (priests
of the lower degree belonging to the House of
Phta), gazes with a wondering admiration
into the cherub face of the babe. The Nile
that they have just left is seen filtering
away through the arid background of muddy
desert. Upon this picture Alma-Tadema worked
for two solid years (1903-4), until his wife
pathetically pointed out to him that the infant
Moses was " two years old, and need no
longer be carried."
This noble biblical subject was destined
to win its artist great renown in the Royal
Academy of 1905. Its appeal, especially to
those of us who know Egypt, is irresistible.
The artist was profoundly impressed by this
his first visit to the Egypt of his imaginings.
"THE FINDING OF MOSES." 113
He was there for only six weeks, but the fact
of his going at all must have imparted an
additional zest to his task of painting this new
picture. With the great dam he was delighted,
as well as fully alive to its enormous importance.
Yet the Nile Dam, according to a recent writer,
is i( a perfect success as far as it goes, but it
does not go far enough. It can never silt up,
for while the Nile is discharging its flood of
muddy waters the whole of the sluices are
open, and the river passes through without
parting with its silt ; this is the great feature
of the dams, for Egypt would be considerably
the poorer if deprived of this rich silt. When
the turbid flood has passed and the com-
paratively clear water-supply of the river has
begun to arrive, the sluices are gradually closed
and the reservoir filled. No additional water
is needed for irrigation between March 1st
and May 1st, as the river naturally has enough
for the requirements of the area at present
under crop at this season. The earlier the
flood, the more effective the reservoir.' '
It may be a favourable moment now to
make mention of two branches of his art which
have been to a very great extent overshadowed
by Alma-Tadema's more ambitious work: I
allude to his water-colour pictures and his
portraits. In the realm of water colour he
has had few equals, and he has been an
eminent member of the Royal Water Colour
Society since 1873.
" Xanthe and Phaon," painted in 1883 and
acquired by the Walters Art Gallery of Balti-
more, has an interesting story attaching to it.
This is a water colour from the painting called
" The Question/' which had originally been
suggested as the subject of a novel to Ebers,*
so that the suggestion originally made by the
novelist returned again, as it were, to the artist.
The delicious water colour, " ( Nobody asked
you, Sir/ she said," has gone to Australia,
whilst i( Pandora " belongs to the Royal Society
of Painters in Water Colours. In these lesser
effects, as well as in many of his portraits,
Alma-Tadema's extraordinary " touch " and
inborn sense of beauty combine to enhance
almost every subject he has approached. In-
cidentally, the master painted the scenes for
the tableaux given in aid of the inundated
Numerous as are the portraits he has
painted, Alma-Tadema has never been a por-
trait-painter in the strictly professional sense
of that term. It follows that the portraits he
has executed are, one and all, stamped with a
peculiar and most interesting individuality —
for he has never attempted a portrait without
feeling strongly attracted to his subject, and
being almost convinced that the results would
be in accordance with his own conception
and his own hopes for the picture's success.
His sitters have included personages no less
* See p. 67.
SIR ERNEST A. WATERLOW R.A., P.R.W.S.
AS PORTRAIT PAINTER. 115
renowned and no less diverse than the Right
Hon. A. J. Balfour, the Duchess of Cleveland,
Sir Ernest Waterlow, Paderewski, Mr. George
Henschel, Sir Felix and Lady Semon, and Sir
Henry and Lady Thompson. His female por-
traits are few, but very noteworthy, including
as they do Lady Alma-Tadema, Mrs. Charles
Wyllie, and the wife of Mr. F. D. Millet, the
Transatlantic artist. But over and over again
has Alma-Tadema introduced the likenesses of
relatives and friends into his pictures. This is
notably the case with " Spring/' in which the
Roman lady and gentleman looking down upon
the superb spectacle are easily recognisable
as Mr. and Mrs. Henschel, the well-known
musicians, and their daughter, now Mrs.
Wolfram Onslow Ford.
On the important question of the ex-
pediency or otherwise of art schools for travel-
ling students, Alma-Tadema is reported as
having said, " Of what use is it to try and
graft a branch laden with fruit upon a sapling ?
If the sapling has no trunk, how is it possible
to effect a graft ? Rubens followed the right
principle, and so, after having extracted from
foreign travel the best it could give, he still
remained Rubens. But what would have hap-
pened if he had undertaken his journey pre-
maturely — that is to say, before the artist
inside him was fully developed ? ... It is
my belief that an art student ought not to
travel. When once he has become an artist,
conscious of his own aim, of his own wants,
he will certainly profit by seeing the works
of the great masters, because he will then be
able to understand them, and can, if necessary,
appropriate such things as may appear useful
to him. With one or two exceptions, the
Prix de Rome men are not the foremost of
their day. Meissonier, Gerome, Leys, remained
at home until they had become consummate
artists. Rembrandt never left Amsterdam, and
Rubens, when travelling through Italy, made
some sketches after Leonardo da Vinci which
might pass as original Rubens, because Rubens
was already Rubens when he did them.
Vandyck and Velasquez travelled when they
were already Vandyck and Velasquez, but not
In the Birthday Honours List of 1905,
His Majesty King Edward VII. (who had pre-
viously done the painter the honour of per-
sonally visiting his studio in order to see
" The Finding of Moses ") conferred upon Sir
Lawrence Alma-Tadema the high distinction
of the Order of Merit. Since the first appoint-
ments to this Order, three years before, it
had only been given to one artist, viz., to the
late G. F. Watts. It was now awarded to
Alma-Tadema and to Mr. Holman Hunt.
LADY ALMA-TAD E MA AND HER FAMILY.
By Permission of the Artist.
IT is a commonplace to say that Alma-Tadema
is in every way a most engaging personality.
It is, indeed, impossible to doubt that the
artist's innate kindliness of heart has been a
not unimportant factor in the splendidly com-
plete success of his life work. The kindliness
that I speak of beams from his bright, fear-
less blue eyes, and is scarcely less noticeable
in the forceful, yet always sympathetic, manner
of his conversation when animated.
In appearance he is a small but strongly
built man, speaking English with a pleasant
accent that betrays his Friesland descent.
Alma-Tadema is moust ached and bearded. Both
are fair, scarcely inclined to turn grey, and
you would certainly not for one moment sup-
pose that he had been born in the year 1836.
In every way he seems a study in perpetual
He loves music, and he loves flowers. When
working on " Heliogabalus " during the dark
winter months, he had roses sent to him from
the Riviera twice a week to serve as " models/'
so that he literally had a model for each in-
dividual blossom. Nor is it often that one en-
counters so well-stored a mind as his. Obsessed
less by the conventions of his art than by its
infinite possibilities and limitless limitations,
he has lived his life in a world peopled with
the absorbing beauties of an exquisite colour-
sense, and the legends and glories of a rarely
beautiful imagination. Well might he say,
with one of Maeterlinck's characters, " It was
not possible, because it was not beautiful,"
so abnormally acute is his sense of beauty
not merely in matters relating to his art. And
this perfection of beauty in all the work of
his hand and brain is, as I have pointed out
so frequently, largely based upon his per-
fection of detail. Nothing is too trivial to
A friend once asked him, " What is your
favourite recreation ? " " Painting," replied
the artist. His works number from three to
four hundred ; and as an example of his
wonderful thoroughness it should be stated
that his " first sketch " for a picture is always
done upon the canvas itself, and with the aid
of models. Scrupulous care is taken with the
arrangement of every figure and every detail,
for no critic of his work is one-half so severe
as Alma-Tadema himself. After numerous
erasures begins his real hard labour. He is
AN APPRECIATION. 119
often very despondent and dissatisfied when
a picture is in progress ; perhaps the art would
not be so great if he were always buoyant.
And what can one say of his versatility that
has not been said ? At one moment he is pre-
eminently the artist of old Rome ; the next,
he comes before his audience in quite another
guise — in the garb of a past so spirituelle and
so idealised that in imagination we " live " the
period that he spreads before us on the living
In connection with Alma-Tadema's love for
music, I recollect his telling me, with a boyish
enjoyment of the incident, how a friend of his,
a professor of music, spent years in deploring
the untoward fate that had made Alma-Tadema
a painter and not a musician ; until, at long
last, he was brought to acknowledge and con-
fess that fate had been right.
" Nothing is to be done except by close
application " is a favourite axiom of Alma-
Tadema's. He is of all men the most implicit
believer in the gospel of hard work ; it is
hard, but it is good. He has always preached
that there is no royal road to success ; and
he himself is a shining example of the battle
that may be won by pluck and determination,
those two good allies, especially when, as in
his case, they are linked to that great quality
which has been cheaply described as " an
infinite capacity for taking pains." Friend-
less and unaided as he was when first he
launched out upon the stormy sea of an art
career, the place to which he ultimately attained
may be not unsuitably defined as unique.
He is extraordinarily methodical in his
habits. Care and orderliness distinguish every
little task of his daily life, and he does not
even care for his daughters to " tidy up " the
studio. His paint-brushes are washed by his
own hands. His library is catalogued and
classified by himself. The whole of his corre-
spondence — a big slice out of the working
day — is conducted by himself unaided. And
woe betide the unwary visitor who calls in the
morning hours whilst Alma-Tadema is work-
ing ! Every hour of the precious daylight is
dedicated to his calling when he is at work
upon a picture.
Alma-Tadema has had but few pupils, and
of these by far the most prominent are his
own wife, his cousin, H. W. Mesdag, and
the Hon. John Collier. He is, says Miss
Zimmern, " the kindest and most large-
hearted of teachers. His appreciation of the
works of others is wide and sincere, and no
matter how different this work may be from
his own style and taste, he gives to it its due
meed of praise, provided it be executed with
honest intent. London society is familiar with
this wiry, strong-set figure, with the face of
kindly comeliness, with the cheery voice, with
the frank, observant eye, the merry quips and
cranks, the energy, the intense love of all
AN APPRECIATION. 121
that is great and good and lovely. To be with
him is to feel invigorated, for he seems to have
so much superfluous vitality that he is able
to dispense it to his surroundings. Of his art
he rarely speaks, and still more rarely of his
art theories. Indeed, he is no theorist, though
he knows perfectly well at what end he aims,
and his art, like his personality, is homogeneous
throughout. But it is not in his nature to
analyse ; he follows his instincts, and these are
true and right. ' To thine own self be true '
has been his life motto, and faithfully has he
His friend the late Georg Ebers has left
on record the following beautifully expressed
tribute to the artist, than which nothing could
be more simply or sincerely rendered : " The
tree shall be known by its fruits ; whoever knows
these, knows the man himself. In my opinion,
the time for a complete picture of Tadema's
personality has not yet arrived ; he is still,
thank God, among the ranks of the living,
and when in the future his last hour strikes
many hands more skilled than mine will hasten
to write his eulogy. As for me, I can only say
that I consider it a special favour of fortune
to be permitted to call this rare, highly educated,
warm-hearted man, and genuine artist, my
friend. With so much genius, such a wealth
of knowledge, and such unusually wide renown,
he has retained a charming simplicity of
character. Whoever knows him, knows the
source of the light and sunny cheerfulness that
irradiates many of his paintings ; they proceed
from his pure, chaste soul, which is overflowing
with them. I shall never forget his face and
the sparkling of his artist-eyes as one May
day, while we were driving with our wives
amid sunlight, fresh spring foliage, and singing
birds, through the unpretending Leipsic Rosen-
thal, he exclaimed, ' Ebers, the world is still
Alma-Tadema is very funny on the subject
of what he terms the public appreciation for art
with the big A. This, he says, has especially
surprised him in the department of portrait-
painting. " It always astonishes me," he once
remarked to a friend, " that our modern public,
with its love of the natural, should still be
devoted to the old principle of portraiture. A
head and some clothes, sometimes one or two
hands, and the rest some black or brown. In
fact, a portrait depicting a person under con-
ditions they are never seen in. I, for one,
never see my friends, never see anybody, with-
out seeing at the same time more or less of
the place in which I meet them ; of course,
to paint the surroundings and study them and
work the whole into a picture, involves a great
deal more trouble than to rub the canvas full
of a certain nondescript colour. But if I were
to order the portrait of somebody dear to me,
I should certainty like to have that person
painted surrounded by accessories which
AN APPRECIATION. 123
awakened in my memory (say) a pleasant
meeting, or pleasant hours.' '
It were sheer waste of time to speculate
upon whether a great man be the product of
the age in w r hich he lives, or the age the product
of the great man. Alma-Tadema' s secret, alike
in his life and in his work, is the splendid and
most rare secret of controlled impulses — of
what Swinburne has so finely called " govern-
ance of blood " and " lordship of the soul."
And Alma-Tadema is intensely human. Al-
though he has always loved the home circle
best and first, he has not been averse to
a little genial conviviality outside it j and
Mr. Monkhouse, in recalling how he saw
Alma-Tadema mixing in the throng at a fancy
ball of the Institute of Painters in Water
Colours " crowned with a massive wreath of
blue-bells," pauses to wonder whether there
may not run in his veins some of the blood
of the Roman Emperor he was personating.
Who shall say ?
The ever-difficult and baffling task of ex-
amining and appraising the work of a living
artist, both in the light of the artist's accom-
plishment and its relation to the art of the
period in which it has been accomplished, has
been rendered yet more difficult in the present
instance by reason of the writer's personal
acquaintance with, and affection for, the artist.
But one thing is certain. The place that
Lawrence Alma-Tadema has won amongst the
great masters of the world is not of an age.
Posterity will do him still fuller justice than
contemporary criticism has done — great and
adequate though this be — and its truth, its
beauty, and its matchless craft shall combine
to place the product of his brush and brain
side by side with the highest and purest of
the art of the world for all time.
" Academy Notes," Ruskin's attack on
Alma-Tadema's Work in, 53
" After the Audience," 60
" After the Dance," 57
Agamemnon, Alma-Tadema's designs
" Agrippina with the Ashes of Ger-
Aird, Sir John, no
Alma, Lourens, Godfather to artist, 13
Alma-Tadema, Miss Anna, 35, 66
Alma-Tadema, Miss Laurence, 35
Alma-Tadema, Mrs., first wife of
artist, 22 ; death of, 35
Alma-Tadema, Lady, as artist, 37 ; as
model to Sir Lawrence, 67
Alma-Tadema, Sir Lawrence : His
birth, 9 ; childhood, 10 ; education,
12 ; training for a lawyer, 12 ;
exhibits portrait of his sister, 12 ; his
health breaks down, 13 ; christened
Lourens Alma-Tadema, 13 ; is
allowed to follow Art, 13 ; takes up
residence at Antwerp, 14 ; assists
Baron Hendrick Leys, 15 ; exhibits
at Antwerp Exhibition, 1861, 21 ;
elected to Academy of Amsterdam,
22 ; first marriage, 22 ; removes to
Brussels, 23 ; meets " Prince " Gam-
bart, 24 ; attends Artists' dinner at
Brussels, 28 ; first visit to Italy, 30 ;
death of his first wife, 35 ; his work
exhibited in London, 36 ; settles in
London, 37 ; second marriage of,
2,7 ; at Townshend House, 38, 43 ;
residence in Grove End Road, 40 ;
becomes British subject, 44 ; as
a worker, 51 ; obtains Prussian
Order of Merit, 56 ; elected Asso-
ciate of Royal Academy and Acade-
mician, 58 ; awarded Gold Medal at
Paris Exposition, 1878, 60 ; exhibi-
tion of his collected works, 71 ; as a
portrait painter, 77, 114; obtains
Gold Medal, Paris Exhibition, 1889,
80 ; on Art, 88 ; his earnings, 90 ; his
work for theatre, 91 ; is knighted,
104 ; celebration dinner at White-
hall Rooms, 105 ; his tour in Egypt,
no, 112 ; member of Royal Water
Colour Society, 113 ; on expediency
of Art Schools for travelling
students, 115 ; given Order of
Merit, 116 ; his personal appearance,
117, 120 ; his method of work, 118 ;
believer in hard work, 119 ; his
Amendola, Portrait of, 78
Amphissa, Legend of Women of, 80
" Antistius Labeon," 52
Antwerp, Alma-Tadema's residence
Antwerp Exhibition, 1861, 21
" Apodyterium, The," 79
Architectural Review, 96
A rt Journal, 47, 63, 64
" At Lesbia's," 49
" At the Close of a Joyful Day," 99
'' Audience, An," 73
"Audience at Agrippa's, An," 40, 57,
" Autumn," 66
"Ave Caesar! 16 Saturnalia," 69, 71,
" Bacchus and Silenus," 43
Banquet at Whitehall Rooms, 105
Barnay, Herr Ludwig, Portrait of,
" Bataille de Poitiers," 21
" Before Churching," 49
" Benediction," 99
Benson, Mr. F. R., Alma-Tadema's
designs for, 94
Blackwood's Magazine, 55, 72
" Boudoir," 49
Brussels, Alma-Tadema's residence
Campbell, Lady Colin, as critic, 89
Carr, Mr. Comyns, 91, 107
" Cherries," 51
" Chess-players, The," 33
" Claudius Summoned to the Imperial
Throne," 47, 69
Cleopatra," 57, 73, 74, 98
" Clotilde at the Grave of her Grand-
children," 20, 71
" Coliseum," 100
" Comparisons," 99
Coriolanus, Alma-Tadema's designs
for, 91, 94
" Corner of my Studio," 99
" Courtship," 99
Cymbeline, Alma-Tadema's designs
for, 75, 9 1
David, Louis, 14
" Death of Galsvintha," 27
" Death of the First-born," 44, 52, 60,
62, 71, 72
" Dedication to Bacchus," 99
De Keyser, 15
" Destruction of Terdoest Abbey," 15
" Dinner, The," 48
Diploma Work for R.A., 75
" Down to the River," 69
Ebers, Georg, 11, 23, 29, 31, '34, 63,
67, 74, 82, 89, 114, 121
" Education of the Children of Clovis,"
17, 21, 71
Edward VII., 116
Egypt, Alma-Tadema's tour in, HO,
" Egyptian at his Doorway," 33
" Egyptian Games," 36
" Egyptians lamenting their Dead."
" Egyptians Three Thousand Years
Ago," 33, 71
" Embarkation," 49
" En Repos," 74
" Entrance to a Roman Theatre," 46
Epps, Dr., Portrait of, 78
Epps, Miss Laura Theresa, Artist's
second wife, 37, 67
" Ever-new Horizon," ill
" Expectations," 80
" Fete Intime," 51
" Finding of Moses," 51, no, 112
" Fishing," 48, 52
" Flower Girl," 49
Ford, Onslow, 105, 106
" Fortune's Favourite," 99
" Four Seasons," 41, 65
" Fredegonda and Galsvintha," 60
" Fredegonda at the Death-bed of
" Frigidarium," 99
Gallait, Louis, 36
Gambart, " Prince," 24, 26
" Garden Altar," 69
" Glaucus and Lydia," 46
Gnauth, — , on " Death of the First-
Gosse, Mr. Edmund, on " Roman
Gosse, Mrs. Edmund, as critic, 88
" Golden Fleece," 15
" Grand Chamberlain to His Majesty
King Sesostris the Great," 51
" Greek Wine,'' 52
Grosvenor Gallery, Artist's exhibition
of collected works at, 71
Grove End Road, Alma-Tadema's
residence in, 40 ; Panels at, 42
" Gunthram Bose," 26
" Hadrian Visiting a Pottery in
Hatton's, Mr. Joseph, story of Alma-
" He is Coming," 57
Henschel, Mr., 107, 115
" Hide and Seek," 58
" Hope and Fear,'' 58
Hypatia, Alma-Tadema's designs
Irving, Sir Henry, Alma-Tadema's
designs for, 91, 94
Italy, Alma-Tadema's first visit to,
Jones, Mr. Henry Arthur, 40
"Joseph, Overseer of the Granaries,"
"Juggler, The," 50, 73
Julius C&sar, Alma-Tadema's de-
signs for, 93, 94
Keyser, De, 15
" Kiss, A," 99
Knighthood, and Celebration of, 104
" Lady Returning from Market," 46
Lagye, Victor, 25
" Last Roses, The," K2
Leeuwarden, Picturesqueness of, 10
Leighton, Lord, on Art, 88
" Lesbia," 46
Leys, Baron Hendrick, 15, 18, 36
London, Alma-Tadema's residences
in, 37, 40, 43
" Love's Jewelled Fetter," 99
" Loving Welcome,'' 59
Lowenstam, Portrait of, 78
" Luther and the Four Reformers," 16
Meynell, Mrs., as'Critic, 89
Monkhouse, Mr. Cosmo, on artist,
83, 86, 87, 123
" My Youngest Daughter," 78
Nile Dam, no, 113
" ' Nobody asked you, Sir,' she said,''
" Not at home," 69
" Nymphaum," 58
" Oleanders," 74
" On the Way to the Temple," 75
Paderewski, Portrait of, 99
" Pandora," 73, 114
Paris Exhibitions : of 1878, 60 ; of
" Parting Kiss," 66
" Peep Through the Trees," 52
" Phidias at Work in the Parthenon,"
" Picture Gallery," 52, 55, 56
"Pomona's Festival," 60
" Portico of Roman Theatre,'' 36
Portrait Painter, Alma-Tadema as,
" Pottery," 51
" Preparing for a Festival in a
Pompeian House," 46
" Pyrrhic Dance," 50, 87
" Question, The," 67, 72, 114
" Quiet Pets/' 73
" Reading from Homer," 78
" Reflection," 74
Regent's Canal Explosion, 39
" Reproaches," 51
" Roses, Love's Delight," 102
" Roses of Heliogabalus," 80, 102, 117
" Roman Emperor, A," 40, 50, 69
" Roman Lady Returning from
Making Purchases," 36
Rossetti, D. G., Comparison with
Ruskin's, Mr., attacks on artist, 52,
" Sappho," 70, 73
" School for Vengeance," 21
" Sculpture Gallery," 52, 53, 55, 56
" Sculptor's Model," 58
" Seasons, The Four," 41, 65
" Service, The,'' 48
" Shrine of Venus," 81
" Sick Chamber,'' 49
" Siesta," 47
" Silent Greeting," 99
" Sortie de l'^glise," 36
" Spring," 65, 99, IOO, 115
Spielmann, Mr. M. H., on "Ever-
new Horizon," ill
Stage, Alma-Tadema's Work for, 91
" Summer," 65
" Sunny Days," 52
Tadema, Mdme., mother of artist, 9;
death of, 22
" Tarquinius Superbus," 47
Taye, Louis de, 16
" Temple of Ceres," 69
" Tepidarium,'' 73
Terry, Miss Ellen, Alma-Tadema's
designs for, 92
Theatre, Alma-Tadema's work for, 91
Thompson, Sir Henry, Portrait of, 59
" Three Thousand Years Ago," 33,
" Tibulus' Visit to Delia," 37
" Torch Dance," 73
Townshend House, 38, 43
"Tragedy of an Honest Wife," 57
Tree, Mr. Beerbohm, Alma-Tadema's
designs for, 93
" Under the Roof ot Blue Ionian
" Venantius, Fortunatus, and Rade-
" Venus and Mars," 43
" Vintage, The," 28, 49
"Visit, The," 49
Vosmaer, — , Author, 23
Wapper's School at Antwerp, 14
" Water Pets," 52
" Well-protected Slumber," 60, 69
" Whispering Noon,'' 99
Whistler's, Mr., Onslaught on Artist,
Whitehall Rooms, Banquet at, 105
" Wine, The," 48
" Women of Amphissa," 79, 80
" Xanthe and Phaon," 114
" Year's at the Spring," 10^
"Young Affections," 74
Zimmern, Miss, 76,
Printed by Cassell & Company, Limited, La Belle Sauvage, London, E.C.
Cassell & Company's
io G— 9.05
* A Selection from Cassell & Company's Publications*
Illustrated, Fine Art,
ARNOLD-FORSTER (The Rt. Hon.
H. O., M.A.) —
In a Conning Tower ; or, How I
took H.iVI.S. "Majestic" into
Action. Illustrated, 6d. ; cloth, is.
A History of England. Fully Il-
lustrated, 5s. Gilt edges, 6s. 6d.
1. Sir Lawrence Alma - Tadema.
O.M., R.A. By Percy Cross
Standing. "With Coloured Plate
and other Illustrations. 5s. net.
2. Henrietta Rae (Mrs. Ernest
Normand). By Arthur Fish.
With Coloured Plates and other
Illustrations. 5s. net.
BACON (Rev. J. M.) —
The Dominion of the Air: The
Story of Aerial Navigation.
Popular Editio?i, 3s. 6d.
BALL (Sir Robert, LL.D.) —
The Earth's Beginning. Illus-
trated. 7s. 6d.
The Story of the Heavens. With
Coloured Plates. 10s. 6d.
Star-Land. Illustrated. 7s. 6d.
The Story of the Sun With Eight
Coloured Plates and other Illus-
trations. 10s. 6d.
BARRIE (J. M.)—
Tommy and Grizel. 6s.
The Little Minister. Illustrated.
Cheap Edition. 3s. 6d. Pocket
Edition, cloth, 2s. net ; leather
limp, 3s. net.
Sentimental Tommy. 6s.
The Sword of Gideon. 6s.
BONNEY (Prof., E.P.S.)-
The Story of Our Planet. With
Coloured Plates and Maps and
about 100 Illustrations. Cheap
Edition. 7s. 6d.
Britain at Work. A Pictorial De-
scription of our National Industries.
With nearly 500 Illustrations. 12s.
British Isles, The. Depicted by Pen
and Camera. With a Series of
Coloured Plates and a profusion of
Illustrations from Photographs.
Complete in 3 Vols., each contain-
ing about 400 Illustrations and 12
Coloured Plates, 21s. net each.
The Story of English Literature.
Revised and brought up to date.
and other Volumes.
English Earthenware and Stone-
ware. Containing 24 Plates in
Colours and 54 Black and White
Plates, 30s. net. This Edition is
limited to 1,450 copies.
' French Porcelain. By E. S. Aus-
cher. Translated and edited by
Wm. Burton. With 24 Plates in
Colours and 54 Black and White
Plates. 30s. net. This edition is
limited to 1,250 copies.
CasseU's Cabinet Cyclopaedia. Con-
cise and comprehensive. With
several hundred Illustrations and
Diagrams. 12s. 6d. net.
CasseU's New Dictionary of Cook-
ery. With about 10,000 Recipes
and a Series of Coloured Plates.
12s. 6d. net.
Cathedrals, Abbeys, and Churches
of England and Wales. Descrip-
tive, Historical, Pictorial. Fine Art
Edition. Three Wo\s.,£^ 3s. the set.
Chums. The Illustrated Paper for
Boys. Yearly Volume, 8s.
COLLIER (The Hon. John)—
The Art of Portrait Painting.
With 16 Reproductions in Colour
and 20 in Black and White.
10s. 6d. net.
CONWAY (Sir Martin)—
Aconcagua and Tierra del Fuego.
With Illustrations. 12s. 6d. net.
Autobiography of. With Maps.
Two Vols. , 30s. net.
CRANE (Walter, P. W.S.) —
A Flower Wedding. With 40
Pages of Illustrations in Colours, 6s.
COX (Sir Edmund, Bart.)—
Leaves from the Note-Book ol
John Carruthers, Indian Police-
man. 3s. fed.
DIOSY (Arthur, F.P G.S.)—
The New Far East. Popular
Edition. Illustrated. 3s. 6d.
Don Quixote, The Dore. With
about 400 Illustrations by Gus-
tave Dore. ios. 6d.
Dore Dante, The. Comprising the
Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise.
Illustrations by Gustave Dor£.
A Selection from Cassell & Company's Publications, 3
Dore Dante. Continued —
Vol. i contains the Ii ferno, Vol. 2
Purgatory and Paradise. 16s. net
each. Pocket Fdition of the Inferno,
cloth, 2S. net ; leather limp, 3s. net.
Dore Gallery, The. With 250 Illus-
trations by Gustave Dore. 42s.
Dore' s Milton's Paradise Lost. Illus-
trated by DORE. 4to, 21s. Popular
Edition. Cloth or buckram, 7s. 6d.
Cheap Edition. In One Vol. , 1 2s . 6d.
Duval's Artistic Anatomy. New
and Revised Edition, edited and
amplified by A. M. Paterson,
M.D., Derby Professor of Anatomy
in the University of Liverpool.
With numerous Illustrations. 5s.
Encyclopaedic Dictionary, The. Xew
Edition. 8 vols., ios. 6d. each.
Family Doctor, CasseU's. 6s.
Family Lawyer, CasseU's. ios. 6d.
FAWCETT (Mrs. Henry, LL.D.)—
Five Famous French Women.
Henrietta Rae (Mrs. Ernest
Normand). With Coloured Plate
and other Illustrations. 5s. ret.
FORBES (Archibald, LL.D.)—
Memories and Studies of War
and Peace. 6s.
The Black Watch : The Record
of an Historic Regiment. 3s. 6d.
FOWLER (Ellen Thorneycroft)
(Mrs. A. L. Felkin).
Verses Wise and Otherwise.
With which are incorporated
' ' Verses Grave and Gay. " 5s.
FRASER (John Foster)—
Canada as It is. Illustrated. 6s.
The Real Siberia. With numer-
ous Illustrations. 3s. 6d.
America at Work. Illustrated.
3 s. 6d.
FREEMAN (Richard Austin)—
The Golden P00L 6s.
FREMANTLE (Admiral Sir E. R.,
The Navy as I Have Known It.
Adventures of an Equerry. 6s.
A Lieutenant oi the King. 6s.
Great Pictures in Private Galleries.
A selection of the most famous
Modern Pictures in the Private
Galleries of Great Britain repro-
duced in Colours. Two Series, each
containing 48 Pictures, mounted on
specially selected art paper, 12s. ;
or half-leather, 15s.
GRIFFITHS (Major Arthur)—
Fifty Years of Public Service.
With Portrait. Popular Edition,
The Brethren : A Romance of the
King Solomon's Mines. Illus-
trated. 3s. 6d. Gift Book Edition,
HASLUCK (Paul N.)—
Cheap Dwellings. Illustrated,
The Handyman's Book of Tools,
Materials, and Processes em-
ployed in Woodworking. Edited
by. With about 2,500 Illustrations.
CasseU's Cyclopaedia of Me-
chanics. Edited by. Profusely
Illustrated. 4 Series, each complete
in itself. 7s. 6d. each.
Metalworking : A Book of Tools,
Materials, and Processes for the
Handyman. Edited by. With
The Book of Photography. Prac-
tical, Theoretic, and Applied.
Edited by. Illustrated, ios. 6d.
"Work" Handbooks. Edited by.
36 vols. Illustrated, is. net each.
A Flame of Fire. New Illus-
trated Edition. 3s. 6d.
Home Handbooks, CasseU's. Paper
covers, is. net each. Cloih, is. 6d.
The Home Lawyer. The Home
Physician. Vegetal ian Cookery.
Cookery fcr Comir.on Ailments.
Our Sick and How to Take Care
of Them. The Making oi \he
HULME (F. E., F.L.S., F.S.A.)—
FamUiar Garden Flowers. With
200 Full page Coloured Plates. In
Five Vols., 3s. 6d. each.
Familiar WUd Flowers. With
320 beautiful Coloured Plates.
Cheap Edition. In Eight Volumes.
3s. 6d. each.
4 A Selection from Cassell 6r> Company's Publications,
KEARTON (R. ( F.Z.S.) —
Illustrated from Photographs Direct
from Nature by C. and R. Kear-
Pictures from Nature. Being 15
Reproductions in the finest Rem-
brandt Photogravure from negatives
made direct by Richard and
Cherry Kearton of birds and
beasts in their native haunts. 10s. 6d.
A Limited Edition of 100 copies on large
plate paper, with each picture signed by
the authors, has been prepared, price 42s.
The Adventures of Cock Robin
and His Mate. 6s.
British Birds' Nests. 21s.
Our Rarer British Breeding
Birds. 3-s. 6d.
With Nature and a Camera.
With 180 Pictures. 7s. 6d.
Our Bird Friends. 5s.
Wild Nature's Ways. 10s. 6d.
Strange Adventures in Dicky-
Bird Land. 3s. 6d. ; cloth gilt,
gilt edges, 5s.
White's Natural History of Sel-
borne. Illustrated. With Notes
bv R. Kearton. 6s.
Wild Life at Home : How to
Study and Photograph It. 6s.
Birds' Nests, Eggs, and Egg- Col-
lecting. With 22 Coloured Plates.
KIRBY (W. F., F.L.S., F.E.S.)—
The Butterflies and Moths of
Europe. With 54 Coloured Plates
and numerous Illustrations. 21s. net.
Familiar Butterflies and Moths.
With t8 Coloured Plates. 6s.
LE QUEUX (William)—
The Spider's Eye. 6s.
LITTLE (Mrs. Archibald)—
Li Hung-chang. 15s. net.
London, Cassell's Guide to. Illus-
trated. Cloth, is.
LOW AND PULLING—
English History, Dictionary of.
Edited by Sidney Low, B.A., and
Prof. S. Pulling, M.A. 7s. 6d.
MACDONNELL (John De Courcy) —
King Leopold II. His Rule in
Belgium and the Congo. 21s. net.
MacWHIRTER (]., R.A.)—
Landscape Painting in Water-
Colour. 23 Coloured Plates. 5s.
Under the Care of the Japanese
War Office. Illustrated, 6s.
MILE3 (Eustace, M.A.)—
Cassell's Physical Educator.
With 1,000 Illustrations. 9s.
MORLEY (Prof. Henry)—
English Writers. Vols. I. to XI.
The Plays of Shakespeare. Edited
by Professor Hen ryMorley. Com-
plete in Thirteen Vols., cloth, 21s. ;
also 39 Vols., cloth, in box, 21s.
Music, Cassell's Popular. A Series
of Songs and Pieces of Music.
2d. net each.
National Gallery of British Art,
The (The Tate Gallery). With an
Introduction by Sir Charles Hol-
ROYD, and containing 24 Exquisite
Rembrandt Photogravure Plates,
and beautiful reproductions of the
principal pictures. Cloth, 12s.
Leather back, cloih sides, 15s.
National Library, Cassell's. 3d.
and 6d. List post free on appli-
cation. New and Improved Issue,
in weekly volumes, 6d. net.
Nation's Pictures, The. Complete in
4 Vols. Each containing 48 Beau-
tiful Coloured Reproductions with'
descriptive Text. Cloth, 12s. ; half-
leather, 15s. each.
Natural History, Cassell's. Cheap
Edition. With about 2,000 Illus-
trations. In Three Double Vols.
Natural History, Cassell's Concise.
By E. Perceval Wright, M.A.,
M.D., F.L.S. With several Hun-
dred Illustrations. 7s. 6d.
The Hundred Days. 6s.
The Giant's Gate. 6s.
The Impregnable City. 3s. 6d.
Kronstadt. 6s. Pocket Edition,
Cloth, 2s. net ; leather limp, 3s. net.
Red Morn. 6s.
The Iron Pirate. 3s. 6d. Pocket
Edition, cloth, 2s. net ; leather
limp, 3s. net.
The Sea Wolves. 3s. 6d.
The Garden of *T.ords. 6s.
Peril and Patriotism. Two Vols.
in One. 5s.
Postcards, Cassell's Art. 9 Series,
6d. each. List on application.
QUILLER-COUCH (A. T.)—
The Ship of Stars. 6s.
Adventures of Harry Revel.
The Laird's Luck. 6s.
t*DEAD Man's Rock. gs.
t*THB SPLENDID SPUR. 5S.
•Also at 3s. 6d. t Also People's FJitttns at 6d
A Selection from Cassell & Company's Publications. 5
QUILLER COUCH(A.T.). Continued—
■tTHE ASTONISHING HISTORY OF TROY
"I Saw Three Ships," and other Winter's
Ia : A Love St^ry. 3s 6d.
Noughts and Crosses. 5s.
The Delectable duchy. 5s.
Wandering Heath. 5s.
+ Also People s Editions at 6d.
Adventure Books, The Red, The
Green, The Blue, The Brown, The
Black, and The Grey. Edited by.
Each complete in itself, and con-
taining a series of Stories from
"The World of Adventure." Pro-
fusely Illustrated. 5s. each.
The Story of the Sea. Edited by.
Illustrated. In Two Vols. 5s. each.
Railway Guides, Official. With Illus-
trations, Maps, &c. Price is. each ;
or in cloth, is. 6d. each.
London and North Western Railway.
Great Western Railway.
Great Northern Railway.
Great Eastern Railway.
London and South Western Railway.
London, Brighton, and south Coast
South Eastern and Chatham Railway.
Reid (Sir Wemyss)—
Black, William, Novelist. With
3 Portraits. 10s. 6d. net.
REID (Stuart J.)— ■
Sir Wemyss Eeid's Memoirs.
1842-1885. With Portrait, 18s. n-t
Royal Academy Pictures. Annual
Volume. 7s. 6d.
SCHERREN (Henry, F.Z.S.)—
The Zoological Society of London.
With 12 Coloured Plates and
about 50 in Black and White.
30s. net. This edition is limited
to 1,000 copies.
Shakspere, The Leopold. With 400
Illustrations. Cheap Edition, 3s. 6d.
Cloth gilt, gilt edges, 5s. ; half-
persian, 5s. 6d. net.
Shakspere, The Royal. With 50
Full-pa^e Illustrations. Complete
in Three Vols. 15s. the set.
The Book of the Cat. 15s. net.
Social England. By Various Writers.
Edited by H. D. Traill,
D.C.L., and J. S. Mann, M.A.
Library Edition. Six Vols. 14s.
SPIELMANN (M. H.)—
Ruskin, John : A Sketch of His
Life, His Work, and His Opinions,
with Personal Reminiscences. 5s.
Standard Library, Cassell's. is. net
each. (List free on application.)
STANDING (Percy Cross) —
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema,O.M.,
R.A. With Coloured Plate and
other Illustrations. 5s. net.
STEVENSON (R. L.)—
Library Edition, 6s. Popiclar
Edition, 3s. 6d. Pocket Edition,
2S. net ; leather, 3s. net.
The Black Arrow. Catriona.
Kidnapped. Master of Ballan-
trae. Treasure Island. The
TREVES (Sir Frederick, Bart.,
G.C.V.O., Sec. Sec.)—
The Other Side of the Lantern.
With 40 Full-p3ge Plates. 12s. net.
Turner, J. M. W„ R.A., The Water-
Colour Sketches of, in the
Wational Gallery. With 58 Fac-
simile Reproductions in Colour.
A. Cook, M.A., F.S.A. ^3 3s. net.
WALLACE (Sir D. Mackenzie)—
Russia. With 2 Maps. 2 Vols.,
WALMSLEY (R. Mullineux,
Electricity in the Service of Man.
With 1 ,200 Illustrations. 10s. 6d. net.
WRIGHT (Lewis) -
The New Book of Poultry. With
30 Coloured Plates by J. W. Lud-
low, and other Illustrations. 21s.
WRIGHT (Walter P.)—
Cassell's Dictionary of Practical
Gardening. Edited by. With
20 Coloured Plates and numerous
Il'ustrations. Two Vols., 30s. net.
Cassell's Popular Gardening.
Edited by. With 24 Coloured
Plates and numerous Illustrations.
2 Vols., 30s. net.
Pictorial Practical Flower Gar-
dening. With about 100 Illustra-
tions, is. net ; cloth, is. 6d net.
*** Separate List of the "Pictorial
Practical " Handbooks issued.
WYLLIE (W. L., A.R.A.)—
Marine Painting in Water- Colour.
With 24 Coloured Plates. 5s.
WILLCOX (Ella Wheeler) —
A Woman of the World. 6s.
6 A Selection from Cassell & Company's Publications,
Bibles and Religious Works.
Bible Biographies. Illus. is. 6d. each.
The Story of Moses and Joshua. By
the Rev. J. Telford.
The mtorv of the Judges. By the Rev.
J. Wycliffe Gedgc.
The Story of Samuel and Saul. By the
Rev. D C. Tovey.
The STwRY OF David. By the Rev. J. Wild.
Thk story of Joseph. Its Lessons for
To-day. By the Rev. George Bainton.
The Story of Jesus. In Verse By J. R.
BURN (Rev. J. H.,B.D.,F.P.S.E.) —
Aids to Practical Religion. Selec-
tions from the Writ ngs and Ad-
dresses of W. Boyd Carpenter,
Lord Bishop of Ripon. 3s. 6d.
Cassell's Family Bible. With Ex-
planatory Notes, Maps, References,
and a Condensed Concordance.
Illustrated with more than 900
highly finished Engravings. Full
leather, gilt edges, 25s. net ;
superior leather, with clasps and
corners, 31s. 6d. net.
Cassell's Family Bible. With 900
Illustrations. Toned paper edition.
Leather, gilt edges, £2 10s.
ELLICOTT (Dr.) —
Bible Commentary for English
Readers. Edited by. With Con-
tributions by eminent Scholars and
Divines : —
New Testament. Popular Edition. Un-
abridged Three Vols. 6s. each.
OLD ThSTAMENT. Popular Edition. Un-
abridged. Five Vols. 6s. each.
Special Pocket Editions of the New
Testament Volumes. 2s. each j leather
limp, 2s. 6d. net each.
The Life and Work of St. Paul
Cheap Edition. With 16 Full-page
Plates, 3s. 6d. ; paste grain, 5s.
net ; Popular Edition, 7s. 6d. ;
New Illustrated 4/0 Edition,
10s. 6d. net ; Original Illustrated
Edition, £2 2s.
The Early Days of Christianity.
Library Edition. Two Vols.,
24s. ; morocco, £2 2s. Popular
Edition. Complete in One Volume.
Cloth, gilt edges, 7s. 6d. Cheap
Edition, cloth gilt, 3s. 6d. ; paste
grain, 15s. net.
The Life of Christ. Cheap Edi-
tion. With 16 Full-page Plates.
3s. 6d. ; paste grain, 5s. net.
Illustrated Quarto Edition, Bio-
graphical Edition, 10s. 6d. net.
Original Illustrated Edition, 21s.
Life of Lives, The: Further
Studies in the Life of Christ.
15s. Popular Edition^ 7s. 6d.
GEIKIE (Rev. Cunningham, D.L )—
Holy Land and the Bible. Cheap
Edition, 7s. 6d. Superior Edi-
tion. With 24 Plates. Cloth gilt,
gilt edges, 10s. 6d. "Quiver"
Edition. With 8 Full-page Illus-
trations, 2s. 6d. net.
HUNTER (Rev. Robert, LL.D.)—
Cassell's Concise Bible Diction-
ary. Illustrated. Cheap Edition,
Life and Work of the Redeemer.
By Rev. H. D. M. Spence, D.D.,
Most Rev. W. Alexander, D.D.,
Prof. Marcus Dods, D.D., Rt.
Rev. H. Moule, D.D., Rev.
Lyman Abbot, D.D., Rev. F. B.
Meyer, B.A., Right Rev. W.
Boyd Carpenter, D.D., Very
Rev. W. Lefroy. D.D., Rt. Rev.
W. C. Doane, D.D., Rev. James
Stalker, D.D., Rev. A. M.
Fairbairn, D.D., and Rev.
Alex. McLaren, D.D. Illus-
trated. " Quiver" Edition. With
8 Full-page Illustrations. 2s. 6d. net.
MAGEE (Wm. Connor, D.D.), late
Archbishop of York —
The Atonement, is.
MAIT LAND (Rev. Brownlow,!/.^.)
Quiver. Yearly Volume, With
about 800 Original Illustrations, 14
Coloured Plates, and 2 Rembrandt
Photogravures ; also Serial Stories
by Popular Writers, about 40 Com-
plete Stories, &c. 7s. 6d.
SPENCE (Very Rev. H. D. M.,
D.D,, Dean of Gloucester) —
The Church of England. A
History for the People. Illustrated.
Complete in Four Vols. 6s. each.
Early Christianity and Paganism.
Illustrated. Cheap Edition, 7s. 6d.
The Child's Bible. With 100 Illus-
trations and Coloured Plates. New
Edition. 10s. 6d.
The Child "Wonderful." A unique
Series of Pictures representing In-
cidents in the Early Life of the
Saviour, reproduced in colour with
accompanying text. By W. S.
WYLIE (Rev. J. A., LL.D.)—
The History of Protestantism.
Containing upwards of 600 Orig-
inal Illustrations. Cheap Edition.
Three Vols. 5s. each.
A Selection from Cassell & Compa?ifs Publications. 7
Educational Works and Students' Manuals*
ffisop's Fables. In words of one
syllable. With 4 Coloured Plates
and numerous Illustrations. 6d.
Blackboard Drawing'. By W. E.
Sparkes. Illustrated. 3s. 6d.
Book - Keeping 1 . By Theodore
Jones. For Schools, 2s. ; cloth, 3s.
For the Million, 2s. ; cloth, 3s.
Books for Jones's System, 2s.
Chemistry, The Public School. By
J. H. Anderson, M.A. 2s. 6d.
"Eyes and No Eyes" Series (Cas-
sell's). By Arabella Buckley.
With Coloured Plates and other
Illustrations. Six Books. 4d. and
6d. each. Complete Volume, 3s. 6d.
Fair/ Tales Old and New. With a
Series of Coloured Plates and
Numerous Illustrations. 3s. 6d.
Also in five books, 6d. each.
French, Cassell's Lessons in. Cheap
Edition. In Two Parts. Cloth,
is- 6d. each. Complete in One
Vol., 2s. 6d. Key, is. 6d.
French-English and English-French
Dictionary, Cassell' s New . Edited
by James BoVelle, B. A. 7s. 6d.
French-English and English-French
Dictionary. 1,150 pages. Cloth or
buckram, 3s. 6d. ; half-morocco, 5s.
Gaudeamus. Songs for Colleges and
Schools. Edited by John Farmer.
5s. Words only, paper covers, 6d. ;
German Dictionary, Cassell's. (Ger-
man-English, English - German.)
Cheap Edition. Cloth, 3s. 6d ; half-
Greek Heroes. New Supplementary
Reader. With 4 Coloured Plates,
&c. 6d. ; cloth, is.
King Solomon's Mines. Abridged
Edition, for Schools, is. 3d.
Latin - English and English - Latin
Dictionary. 3s. 6d. and 5s.
Latin Primer, The First. By Prof.
Latin Primer, The New. By Prof.
J. P. Postgate. Crown 8vo,
Latin Prose for Lower Forms. By
M. A. Bayfield, M.A. 2s. 6d.
Marlborough Books : — Arithmetic
Examples, Revised. 3s. French
Exercises, 3s. 6d. French Grammar,
2S. 6d. German Grammar, 3s. 6d.
Object Lessons from Nature. By
Prof. L. C. Miall, F.L.S. Fully
Illustrated. New and Enlarged
Edition. Two Vols. , is. 6d. each.
Physiology for Schools. By A. T.
Schofield, M.D., &c. Illustrated.
Cloth, is. od. ; Three Parts, paper,
5d. each ; or cloth limp, 6d. each.
Reader, The Citizen. By the Rt. Hon.
H. O. Arnold-Forster, M.A.
Revised, Re-set, and Re-illustrated,
is. 6d. Also a Scottish Edition,
cloth, is. 6d.
Readers, Cassell's Union Jack
Series. With Coloured Plates and
numerous Illustrations. 6 Books,
from 8d. each.
Readers for Infant Schools, Col-
oured. Three Books. 4d. each.
Round the Empire. By G. R.
Parkin. Fully Illustrated. New
and Revised Edition, is. 6d.
Shakspere's Plays for School Use.
7 Books. Illustrated. 6d. each.
I SpeUing, A Complete Manual of.
By J. D. M or ell, LL.D. Cloth,
is. Cheap Edition, 6d.
Spending and Saving : A Primer of
Thrift. By Alfred Pinhorn. is.
Swiss Family Robinson. In words
of one syllable. With 4 Coloured
Things New and Old; or, Stories
from English History. By the Rt.
Hon. H. O. Arnold-Forster,
M.A. Illustrated. 7 Books, from
9d. to is. 8d.
This World of Ours. By the Rt.
Hon. H. O. Arnold-Forster,
M.A. Illustrated. Cheap Edition.
"Wild Rowers" Sheets, Cassell's.
12 Sheets, each containing 10 ex-
amples of familiar wild flowers,
beautifully reproduced in colours
and varnished, is 6d. each.
" Wild Birds " Sheets, Cassell's.
Selected and Edited by R.
Kearton, F.Z.S. Each sheet is
mounted on Board, with Cord
Suspender, and contains Eight
Examples of Familiar Wild Birds,
beautifully reproduced in Colours
and Varnished. Six Sheets, is. 6d.
each. Unmounted, 6d. each.
A Selection from Cassell & Company's Publications,
Books for the Little Ones*
BONSER (A. E.)—
Cassell's Natural History for
Young People. With Coloured
Frontispiece and numerous Illustra-
ELLIS (Edward S.)—
The Lost River. With Four Full-
page Illustrations, is.
River and Forest. With Four
Full-page Illustrations, is.
HAMER (S. H.)—
Archibald's Amazing Adventure.
With 4 Coloured Plates and
Numerous Illustrations by Harry
Rountree. Picture Boards, is. 6d. ;
The Little Folks Adventure Book.
With Coloured Plate and Illustra-
tions. 3s. 6d.
The Little Folks Picture Album
in Colours. With 48 Illustrations
in Colours. 5s.
The Little Folks Animal Book.
With Coloured Plate and Illustra-
tions. 3s. 6d.
Cheepy the Chicken : Being an
Account of some of his most
Wonderful Doings. With Four
Coloured Plates and numerous
Illustrations by 'Harry Roun-
tree. is. 6d. ; cloth, 2s.
Animal Land for Little People.
Illustrated, is. 6d.
Birds, Beasts, and Fishes. With
Four Coloured Plates and nu-
merous Illustrations, is. 6d.
Master Charlie. Illustrated by
C. S. Harrison. Coloured
boards, is. 6d.
Micky Magee's Menagerie ; or,
Strange Animals and their
Doings. With Eight Coloured
Plates and other Illustrations by
Harry B. Neilson. is. 6d. ;
Peter Piper's Peepshow. With
Illustrations by H. B. Neilson and
Lewis Baumer. is. 6d. ; cloth,
Quackles, Junior: Bei>:g the Ex-
traordinary Adventures of a Duck-
ling. With Four Coloured Plates
and other Illustrations by HARRY
Rountree. is. 6d. ; cloth, 2s.
HAMER (S. H.) Continued—
The Ten Travellers. With Four
Coloured Plates and numerous
Illustrations by Harry B. Neil-
son. is. 6d. ; cloth, 2s.
The Jungle School; or Dr.
Jibber-Jabber Burchall's Acad-
emy. With Illustrations by H.
B. Neilson. is. 6d. ; cloth, 2s.
Whys and Other Whys; or,
Curious Creatures and Their
Tales. By S. H. Hamkr and
Harry B. Neilson. Paper
boards, 2s. 6d. ; cloth, 3s. 6d.
Bo-Peep. A Treasury for the Little
Ones. With 4 Full-page Coloured
Plates, and numerous oth r Illus-
trations. Yearly Volume. Picture
boards, 2s. 6d. ; cloth, 3s. 6d.
The Little Folks Sunday Book.
With Coloured Plates and Full page
The Little Folks Book of Heroes.
With Coloured Frontispiece and
numerous Illustrations. 3s. 6d.
KNOX (Isa Craig)—
The Little Folks History of
England. With 30 Illustrations
and 4 Coloured Plates, is. 6d.
" Little Folks " Half-Yearly Volume.
Containing 480 pages, with Six
Full-page Coloured Plates, and
numerous other Illustrations.
Picture boards, 3s. 6d. Cloth gilt,
gilt edges, 5s. each.
Little Folks Fary Boo 1 ?, The.
With Coloured Frontispiece and
numerous Illustrations. 3s. 6d.
Merry Hours. With 2 Coloured
Plates and Numerous Illustrations,
Our Pictures. With 2 Coloured Plates
and Numerous Illustrations, is.
"Tiny Tots" Annual Volume.
Boards, is. 4d. ; cloth, is. 6d.
Tiny Tales. With 2 Coloured Plates
and numerous Illustrations, is.
MONSELL (J. R.)—
Funny Foreigners. Illus rated.
Surprising Strangers. Illustrated.
Notable Nations. Illustrated.
CASSELL & COMPANY, Limited, La Belle Sauvage, Ludgate Hill, London.
GETTY CENTER LIBRARY
3 3125 00952 3149
;■:;:; : .
■.■'■•■'■ ••.'■ •■.';■ ' . .v ' .■•:
. ■ : .
■' ■ '-■.'.
••■ .'•■'. : :" " ■ - - ■
".-..'. . . ■:■...: ■:;■.
■ ■ -
. . ;: . ■ : ..■ ;■.'■ , " .. : .'■•■.•.-. ■.:■::■ : :.\- . .... :■ ■■..■■■ ..
. . .'..'. -...,.". .
' : :
. . ' "'...':: ■:;::'.:': uw-.-vw
• ■.- ■■■■ ■■'■,'' ---'.v. '••■■-•'•■• :■•-.-.■ ' : '
; ■ •
... . , .:
■\-\-\'^y/^:.'-,\-'.".''.'.',, : . '■/•.%■;.
... . . ....
; ■.:•.: ' ■
v. : ..
.: . .-
:=.....;. ::.„';.;.: . ; ,
/i'n"-, . '. ..;..'
:-V.:.:v, ;:;. ' •.:■.■ . ■• : ' . :. :. . . .: .
;■ . , :.:■■
.. ; ■ '■■,:■ i ..::.:' .:■■.' : .- -: : . ■;
■ ■ ■•■■.-.. . .... . ' ....
'.••--.■: :' ■ • ■ •
'■':. .: ' >'/ ;: . ■'■■.[■'■■■■■. ■'■ '■'..'-'■■ •'.;,■;':■.;;.;:::■: ■'■'/ :■■•'"■ :
: . ■ :/ :• '
........... ... ... ....;, . . :.:::.. .::•::
'.'-'.:■"'':•:'■'.-:..■-'- ." "
■'■,-.: :'■'.'■':. ■..■.'• '. : .- • .'
'.:'■ ■■■"■ ' '■' -■;::;. :•-::: nv :::.: '..: :.-.■.■. '■■ .:.-.:
■ ■:■■ ::: : :
■ - :• ■: '■■-. '.'".;■ ■;'-.': ^
;..; ;'':... •■.';'. '- "-. ...'.'' . ....
; . . ...
';■"■'; '■'.'■ ':■'.' ' ' '.','': : '. ".' ■','■'. '.'-; i •■; '.',';
::■: : ■:■: v.:\ ','■'.' ■ ; ' ;
, : .'• .:':■'.
.■•.■■• " ... v • ■:■ ::. : :
.... . v.". - .
' :■.:::: :. ; :.' :